By William Taylor
If you want higher productivity from your employees and better customer service, one way to achieve that is boosting employee engagement. A recent survey reported that about 63 percent of U.S. workers are not engaged in their jobs. When employees are disengaged, they lose productivity and can negatively impact the morale of other team members, too. When management actively seeks ways to boost employee engagement, it can have a direct positive effect on the company’s profitability. Here are seven steps that you can take.
- Share Your Vision and Goals
Employees are more engaged when they feel that their efforts are directed toward a vision they can believe in. Share the company’s vision and goals with employees, and inform them about the organization’s strategy and challenges. Let each employee know how his or her job contributes to the goals of the overall organization. This helps employees find purpose and meaning in their work, which can boost engagement.
- Make Your Expectations Clear
If employees are not sure what you expect of them, it can lead to a drop in engagement. They may feel uncertain about their jobs, your reaction to the work they perform, and what sort of feedback they will receive. In general, people want to do a good job and meet or exceed expectations. Be sure to let them know how to do that. Workers should want to achieve better results; however, they can only do that if they’re motivated.
- Survey Employees about Motivators
Of course, employees value money, but there are other motivators for good performance, too. Employees may also be motivated by recognition, performance rewards, empowerment, a visible career path, and more. You can survey employees to find out what is or is not currently working for motivation. Employee surveys may boost engagement, yet HR departments must craft the right questions in order to persuade workers to give straight answers. Also, these questionnaires must be anonymous—companies shouldn’t care who said what; they should focus on assessing the data and performing meaningful changes that will inspire and keep employees engaged.
- Empower Employees
Let all employees share their ideas and suggestions, so that everyone can feel that they have a stake in the success of the team and the organization. Wherever possible, let employees work without micromanagement, so that they can take responsibility for their own work and feel that their knowledge and skills are recognized and appreciated. It’s OK to let them make important decisions, as they shouldn’t fear failure.
- Provide Regular Feedback
Don’t wait for the annual performance appraisals to provide employees with feedback on their performance. Set up a regular schedule for one-on-one discussions, where you give employees feedback on how they are doing, with suggestions for development. Employees like to know where they stand, and providing feedback shortly after a task is performed is most effective.
- Use Exit Interviews
When employees decide to leave your company, do you know why? Turnover is costly for any organization, and if your top performers decide to leave, it is a definite concern. Conducting exit interviews with each employee who leaves can uncover problem areas and reasons these people were dissatisfied with their jobs. You can then address these issues to reduce future turnover.
- Evaluate Your Managers
One of the primary factors in employee engagement is a person’s relationship with his or her direct manager. Some managers are excellent at managing teams and making each person feel valued, while others don’t have the same abilities. Train your managers in the skills that can improve employee engagement, and it can boost your organization’s overall results. Most employees fear their supervisors, so they choose to leave because they don’t want to work in a stressful environment. However, they don’t always express their reasons.
Companies that want to boost employee engagement should abide by several golden rules. First, they should encourage teamwork; second, they should listen to their employees, and third, they should offer regular feedback. Employees don’t have a problem with receiving constructive criticism. However, they certainly don’t like to deal with the bossy attitude of a picky supervisor. Always listen to the needs of your workers if you want to increase your company’s productivity and reap benefits in the long run.
About William Taylor
William Taylor is basically interested in writing about business related topics, negotiation, and employee engagement. Also, he is a regular contributor at http://www.peopleinsight.co.uk that offers employee engagement surveys.