“We’re engaged!” That ecstatic statement doesn’t only lead to the altar. Apply it to your organization and it leads to improved morale, higher productivity and greater profitability. For all the benefits you’ll reap from employee engagement, surprisingly it doesn’t take a great deal of effort to get their heads – and hearts – in the game.
Start by building effective teams. Take time to identify the strengths and personality traits of your managers. Then team them with employees who complement their styles and fit their preferences. The net result is less frustration and more satisfaction, which also helps you retain valuable talent.
Keep lines of communication open. Employees want to know that their efforts are making a difference to the company and to the customers they ultimately serve. Be proactive in communicating corporate goals, earnings, staffing decisions, etc. More important, invite feedback. You’ll make employees feel informed and important, which is key to fostering engagement.
Give them what they want. Excellent benefits attract and keep excellent employees. Conduct a survey to determine how satisfied your employees are with their benefit package and other corporate programs and perks. Solicit suggestions for improvement and implement them when you can. Let your employees know you’re listening to them!
Empower middle managers. They’re a vital link between executives and “everyone else” – and a very useful conduit for the communication mentioned above. Recognize their authority as well as their accountability and you’ll build a high level of engagement among their ranks too.
Recognize and reward achievements. From formal years-of-service programs to spontaneous pats on the back, we all love to be thanked for our contributions. A culture of recognition throughout the organization is a sure way to keep employees engaged – that includes encouraging them to recognize their peers’ achievements as well.
Make a plan, Stan. Keep it as simple as you please, but do formulate a written plan to foster employee engagement and communicate it to all relevant parties. Taking into consideration the suggestions above, include management assessments, communications strategies, surveys and recognition programs. (By the way, Award Concepts can be a big help with that last one.)