How to Engage Your Employees – Part 2

In our blog article How to Engage Your Employees we had a look at some of the initial tips you can implement to improve employee engagement, which essentially boiled down to the following:

  • Employing the right people for your team
  • Maintaining effective management
  • Caring for your staff and offering unique perks
  • Listening to employees and reacting to their suggestions

Now although these are all fantastic ways to help you in engaging your employees, not everyone is able to provide their staff with an on-site fitness centre or organic lunches, for small firms impartial surveys can be an unnecessary expense and what if you’re not currently hiring?

Engaging your employees

Luckily there are lots of other, more practical ways of engaging your employees; here are some of the best:

Effective communication
Keep your staff informed so they always know what’s expected of them, and why. John Baldoni summarizes the reason for this perfectly in his excellent article on employee engagement in the Harvard Business Review:

“People want to come to work, understand their jobs, and know how their work contributes to the success of the organization.”

Simple but true. If your employees are given a clear picture of what they’re role in the company is and what they’re working towards, they will naturally want to strive to achieve those goals. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fast food takeaway or an international enterprise; ambiguity and murky objectives result in confusion and inconsistency in the workplace.

Great leaders are key to your employee’s engagement
Make sure your managers motivate, listen, engage, communicate and inspire your team. As mentioned in last weeks article, effective management is key in engaging your employees. Great leaders inspire their team to success, they don’t micro-manage them to the point of despair. Collect regular feedback from your employees, and if you discover something’s amiss with your management sort it out pronto! Which leads us to:

Effective evaluations
There’s no better way to shoot down an employee’s engagement then by ignoring their need for feedback or disregarding what they have to say. Hiring an impartial firm to conduct an employee questionnaire is great for larger businesses, but it may an unnecessary expense for small companies. The best way for any business to find out what their employees are thinking is to perform effective evaluations i.e. Listening, taking notes, providing constructive feedback and taking action when needed.

Goals and Rewards
Setting realistic goals for your staff to achieve is a great step in motivating your team, add a reward on the end of that and see what happens. People love winning, and although I’m not suggesting that you pitch your staff against one another in a fully blown competition, a little friendly rivalry can do wonders for an employee’s engagement.

Essentially what we can learn from all of this is that employees are human beings too. Like any relationship, business, personal or otherwise it’s important to go back to that age old rule ‘treat people how you would like to be treated’. By communicating, inspiring, listening and encouraging your team you are cultivating an environment that is engaging your employees on a daily basis, and ultimately ensuring your success as a company.

What do you think? Feel free to discuss this further in the comments section; we’d love to know your thoughts.

Picture source: flickr/JKakaroto

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