Employee engagement in on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days. If you are a business leader and you aren’t talking about it, chances are you’re thinking about it. The question on everyone’s lips seems to be “how can I increase employee engagement in a practical, useful way?” While there are many answers to this question, most of them seem to be lacking one key ingredient: how to do it quickly!
This article gives you six tips to increase employee engagement immediately.
Ask For Feedback
Asking for feedback is something that many managers dread, but it can immediately boost employee engagement. Letting your employees know that you care about them, and their opinions is a great way to increase morale and encourage them to take pride in their position within the company. It also provides valuable feedback to you about what is working and what is not from the “inner circle” perspective.
The secret, though, is to act on the feedback you receive. Far too often upper management receives employee complaints or suggestions and then relegates them to the junk folder. This practice will have the opposite of your desired result and tell employees that you could not care less about their opinions and happiness.
Build In Creativity
There are many things that small and large businesses can learn from Google, but possibly none will be so impactful as their internal practices. Google has many, many elements in place that encourage creative thinking from their employees.
Companies today are beginning to realize that their greatest ideas don’t come from the top down. They don’t come from over-priced think tanks. They come from the everyday employee, and the typical cubicle office setting of yesteryear is not the best place to nurture anyone’s inner genius.
Some companies allow their teams to work offsite while others provide one day each month for “personal projects.” Still other companies simply start by re-designing their office floors to be less confining. Make an effort to start encouraging creative thought from every level of employee, and you will notice a very quick improvement in morale, employee engagement, and profit!
Reward High Morale
Pretty much all managers are aware that they should reward employees who show high morale. Those with great attitudes, higher sales, and glowing customer reviews should be recognized as awesome. However, many managers also realize that this is a slippery slope – those who get rewarded often continue to be rewarded, while those who slip under the radar tend to slip further and further into dissatisfaction.
Partly, this is an issue with the attitude of the employee. But often, it also has to do with the way employees are recognized and rewarded. Instead of looking for the regular metrics like higher sales numbers, look for smaller actions to reward. Give employees a bonus for great suggestions, publicly recognize good deeds among the team and ask employees to “turn each other in” for things they believe their co-workers should be recognized for. This lightens the spirit of recognition and gives everyone a chance to shine in their own way, rather than simply by the numbers.
Nothing kills the sense of a team more than knowing your teammates are not open and honest with you. Nothing builds up the “employees vs. management” mentality more than shutting your employees out. Open door policies are great for letting employees know that you want them to be open with you, so why not turn it into a revolving door?
Of course, you don’t need to spill all of your personal details to the whole team, or even fill them in on every little aspect of management. A good rule of thumb is to inform them on changes, ideas, and policies that will directly affect them. Be yourself around them without being too unprofessional. On top of that, only share what they ask for. Never, ever, complain – just inform with a light tone and a positive outlook.
(Re) Train Team Leaders
Because team leads have direct contact with employees far more often than upper management, what they say, how they say it, and what they do effects employee engagement far more than anything management could do.
Make it a priority to train team leads and supervisors to be more engaged themselves, and they will naturally pass that on to other employees all across the team. The number one rule: do not make this training about telling them what they are doing wrong. Instead, make it an enjoyable experience that boosts positivity and encourages them to suggest their own ideas for creating a better work environment.
Each of these tips can be applied in very different ways. It is up to company’s leaders to decide how best to implement these changes, but it is highly recommended that you do so with the input of your entire workforce. That way, everyone feels involved and valued.