Multiple research shows that only about one-third of the employees are engaged at a given workplace. A larger amount of people is not engaged while the rest (around one-fourth) is actively disengaged. But what exactly employee engagement means?
A business management concept that describes the level of enthusiasm and dedication a worker feels toward his/her job. Engaged employee cares their work and about the performance of the company, and feels that their efforts make a difference. An engaged employee is in it for more than a paycheck. (Investopedia)
- Create a more personal environment: have time to talk to your employees, answer their questions, value their opinion and make them feel that they are partners and also decision makers in their own field. Employees can sense if your care for the organization and them is sincere and they reward it with engagement.
- Perspective: clear goals in short term and career advancement possibility in long term. How can you expect an employee to be engaged if he/she doesn’t have a clear picture of the purpose of the tasks? Do you know what they are good at? Do you know how to challenge them in a way that they can enhance their skills? Do they have a chance to rotate within the company or even move up to a higher position if their current role cannot offer them further challenges? Unclear and foggy goals, promises that are not kept for the possible improvements will easily make your employees move along and work for someone else who offers them a clear picture of a bright future.
- Give them feedback and not just at their yearly evaluation: regular and assertively communicated feedback is a great tool in improving employee engagement. Let them know what they are good at and what the areas are where they still have to improve. Positive and constructive feedback will give them the feeling of being appreciated and valued. Don’t forget to congratulate them or even celebrate their achievements.
- Give them control over their own position: First of all make sure that they understand the overall plan, and see their role in the big picture. Let each team have the authority they need to make decisions on their own as a second step – especially when the decisions directly affect them. Witness how their decisions impact others but stay away from micromanaging.
- Be their mentor or coach or even hire one for them if needed: As a mentor guide them through those areas where you have more expertise and knowledge showing them the little tricks that cannot be learned from books or at school. As a coach help them to find their own solution and answer for that specific goal that they set up for themselves. Mentoring and coaching are equally great developmental tools just with a different goal in the focus.
- Invest in them: whether it means giving them training opportunities or supporting them in their learning process to build upon their skills or providing them with the latest technology to make work life easier. You know the saying:
CFO asks CEO, “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”
CEO: “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?” – Peter Baeklund
- Make sure they can confide in the company’s and your credibility: in other words: walk the talk. If you set up high expectations, make sure that you meet those as well. Lead by examples and demonstrate high ethical standards. Are you proud of your job, your company, and your achievement? So they will be. Losing the employees confidence might cost you to lose the public trust as well in long term.
What are the benefits of having engaged or even satisfied employees at your company?
- They are enthusiastic about their job and go the extra mile to achieve individual and company success
- They are learning and growing every day and innovative at the workplace
- They feel personal responsibility for the company’s growth and become evangelists of the company and its product and processes
- They spread positivity and energy at the workplace and attract other employees and customers
- They bring in more value and increase the profitability