Countless studies have shown that engaging employees in the workplace leads to improved employee and company performance. In this blog post, I’m going to filter all the noise and share my top 3 sure-fire methods to increase employee engagement. Let’s get to it.
If you’re new here, my name is Sadaf Shaikh and every Tuesday I talk about building and nurturing your high performance culture with simple, logical action items.
Now, let’s talk employee engagement.
When I hear leaders talk about wanting to improve employee engagement, they refer to employee engagement as a collective of all their employees. The reality is employee engagement can only be addressed by learning about and understanding each individual employee.
Get to know your employees
When you focus on one employee at a time and you do this with deliberate, consistent effort, employee engagement will inevitably go up. So, talk to your employees, not just about work, but about their goals, aspirations, about their past, how they learn, how they like to be recognized. The more you get to know each of your employees, the better you’ll get at giving each person what they want and need and the more engaged they’ll be. And that engagement is infectious. Before you know it, you’ll have an engaged team and it all starts with one employee and engaging employees in the workplace will be a cinch.
Does it take time? Yes it does. Is the effort worth it? A thousand times yes.
There’s no such thing as over communicating with your employees. If you think you’re communicating too much, chances are you’re JUST about doing enough.
What do you communicate about?
- Your vision – people need to know where the team is heading
- Your strategy – the also need to know HOW you’re going to get there. Talking about your start plan and how they will be contributing to that is a huge engagement driver. Your employees want to feel like they’re making a significant contribution and what the straight line is between their role and the company’s success.
- Progress on company or department goals – same as the strat plans, keep employees abreast of where things are with respect to initiatives and projects. Most importantly share with them where their work goes and what happens. If everyone is pitching in to do a board presentation, come back and tell them what the board said and what the next steps are.
- Failures or set backs – too many times leaders will shield their employees from failures. But painting a too rosy picture makes you seem inauthentic, because we both know that there’s no such thing as constant epic successes. Share where you fell down and how you’re going to get back up.
When you keep the lines of communication open, employees will start opening up and sharing their thoughts and ideas with you too. That’s when you really see engagement go up.
Eliminate all signs of politics
Office politics is an energy suck and drains all engagement out of the company. I’ve worked at many companies in my 20 years and the organizations that had high employee engagement (and I mean engagement that showed in employee and company performance, NOT engagement survey scores) had virtually NO office politics.
In these organizations, employees knew what they had to do, they had a clear idea of how their role contributed to the overall company goals and they put their head down and did the work. There was no bickering or frivolous complaints. Leaders have the ultimate power to stop office politics by refocusing employees to the job at hand and not on silliness like empire building or egos.
And once you have your current employees engaged and performing at their best, it’s important that any new hires fit that culture. I have a free cheat sheet on my Top 10 Interview Questions to Assess Culture Fit.
Now, comment below to tell me which of these tips you liked best and are going to put into practice first. Also, don’t forget to check out the video version of the blog post here.