Engaged employees mold successful businesses.
If you plan on operating a successful organization yet plan on ignoring the engagement levels of your employees, have fun with that uphill battle.
Engaged employees provide many positives for your business:
Not to mention, they are far more enjoyable to share an office with!
We can all agree that having an engaged employee is important, but it is not always easy to create or maintain this state.
An engaged employee should not be considered a myth. They do exist and you can fill your office with highly productive, amazing workers.
How many times have you been involved in an awkward situation because of a lack of communication? If only you would have sat down with a co-worker, friend, or family member and outlined your thoughts in advance... would that situation have been avoidable?
This happens all too often in the workplace. You are dealing with various personalities and different motivations. Some employees would like to know the ins and outs of every situation. Others just want you to tell them what to do and they won't ask questions.
Give your employees the option to know as much as you are willing to give them. If you plan on explaining every little detail, it's probably not wise to hold a site-wide meeting.
Employees want frequent, honest, and transparent feedback. The best leaders can give positive and negative feedback, while encouraging employee ideas and solutions. All too often managers are asked to solve company problems and they avoid talking to the front line employees that potentially have the best ideas for a solution.
Schedule one on one meetings with employees, weekly group sessions, and utilize your resources to keep everyone informed.
If communication is key, technology is your best friend. Your employees utilize technology every day, in and out of the office. How do they communicate with friends and family? It's likely a combination of social media, messaging, and various phone apps.
Instead of fearing technology, embrace aspects that will work for your business. Many companies have adopted chat apps like Slack or Discord to encourage collaboration and community. Small businesses have utilized private Facebook groups to encourage others to share best practices and internal news.
All communication doesn't have to come from your standard email. Each office will be different. Find out what technology your employees are using and see if there is a fit for your business.
The COVID pandemic helped us understand that not all offices need to be cubicles. Studies show that your overall workplace satisfaction can be linked to your environment. We imagine most offices allow you to have a picture of a loved one on your desk, but sometimes you might want to customize a bit more. Sometimes changing the lighting in the room or simply adding a plant can make an employee feel more engaged.
Small customizations can help overall focus and productivity. Sometimes companies bring in expert designers that can increase efficiency and overall mood. In some cases, you see companies creating smaller workspaces and adding additional leisure spaces for the entire office. Maybe your employees would be happier with a smaller office and in return get a break room with a couch and television.
Companies understand that employee recognition and reward programs are necessary. Whether it be a formal award with a banquet or just a simple monthly recognition in the break room, employees need to feel valued. Reward programs help incentivize your team to hit shared goals. This is a win-win for the company and the employee.
But these programs tend to run stale.
The first time you give away a gift card might be reward enough. The 20th time, the same "go-getter" employee wins and everyone else put in minimal effort. Rewards and recognition programs need to evolve in time. Unless you have an entirely new staff, playing the same game will likely be stale.
Each team is motivated by different things. Can you award an extra vacation day? Maybe they just want bragging rights. Be observant and ask around. You will likely find what motivates your team and build your programs around that.
Effective communication is a pillar in generating engaged employees - but this is not a one-way street. Having a conversation requires the employee and the employer. Many business owners fear opening up Pandora's Box. I'm sure most managers remember that one time an employee made a scene in a group setting or when they were held hostage in their office by a disgruntled team veteran. It takes skill to encourage feedback and defuse a hot situation. Know that there is a time and place for every conversation.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
If you have a system in place for feedback and communication, you should never find yourself in a situation where you are surprised. Utilize technology and allow your team members to provide you feedback on process, procedures, and service. Welcome any chance to hear from a different perspective. Maybe one of your employees has the next big idea to generate more customers and better quality.
It's quite alarming when we talk to business owners and then talk to their employees. The business owner explains how much employees love working here, the programs they have in place that motivate the team, and how everyone advocates for their business.
The conversations with the employees, sometimes, greatly differs.
Owners and managers are sometimes too far removed from the actual working environment of frontline employees. They are often too busy to solicit the feedback necessary to make positive change. When this happens, you can see employees resigning and employers clueless as to what happened.
AlignHR understands that the engagement of your employees matters. We help business owners understand what is working and what needs improvement. AlignHR works to help develop an engagement system and culture that can be implemented and bring long term, replicable success
Learn more about AlignHR and EngageMe.