The Right and Wrong Way to Engage Employees
Employee engagement training has become a priority for many organizations and with good reason…the more engaged your work force, the higher your productivity and the better your business results. As with so many things, however, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about engaging your employees.
Here are a few examples.
Mission, Vision, Values.
We know that employees can be inspired by a company’s mission, vision and values. When a corporate mission statement is clearly and powerfully stated, the corporate vision is compelling and the company values are lived consistently and with pride, employees are positively engaged. But if the company’s mission, vision and values are confusing, uninspiring, too generic or ignored, discretionary effort, advocacy and loyalty suffers.
You will know you are headed in the right direction when your employees understand the company’s plans for future success, believe the organization will be successful in the future, understand how their job helps the organization achieve success, and know how they fit into the organization’s future plans.
Giving and receiving feedback can be a powerful way to improve employee performance and, as a derivative, enhance employee engagement and retention. But it has to be done right. Often employee feedback is requested, received and then ignored. When this happens, the feedback giver feels undervalued. The same is true with employee engagement surveys. Measuring employee engagement can be enormously helpful in figuring out what needs to change at an organization to improve discretionary effort, advocacy and retention. But if the results are discounted and there is no subsequent and meaningful action, employees can feel frustrated and betrayed. Be sure if you request feedback that you intend to act upon it. If you do, employees will feel heard and believe that their voice counts. This is a way to keep them involved and engaged.
One of the most important attributes of an effective leader is knowing when and how to delegate tasks effectively. This does not mean micromanaging. At some point, leaders need to show faith in their followers’ ability to proficiently complete a task with minimal supervision. Too much “hands-on” diminishes an employee’s initiative and problem solving ability. Too little support invites confusion, misdirected efforts and missed deadlines. The trick is to find just the right combination for each individual team member. When in doubt, ask! Your genuine interest in their success will increase their engagement.
When you do it “right,” your employees will be increasingly engaged in their jobs.