Misguided Attempt at Employee Engagement
Every company wants to know what motivates employees – to have their employees fully engaged and motivated to succeed.  After all, high engagement is a foundation of high productivity. However, few companies are successful at reaching that ideal.

Too many organizations leave employee engagement up to HR.  Certainly, HR has an important role to play in assessing levels of engagement.  But, HR’s impact on engagement is limited.  Sure, they can sponsor annual employee engagement surveys, analyze and report back on the results; and they can help make employee engagement implementation recommendations on how to improve. 

When all is said and done, however, the ultimate responsibility for engagement lies much closer to individual employees.  It’s not so much a departmental issue; it’s more of a down-on-the-factory-floor, team-based, direct manager-to-employee issue.

Get Serious About Engaging Employees
If you are genuinely interested in promoting greater engagement and inspiring greater motivation to do the best job possible, you need to get serious about what really motivates employees.  If the annual survey and the HR recommendations to leadership are only part of the answer, then what REALLY has the desired impact?

What Works at the Individual Employee Level
Here are four tips on how to truly boost engagement and get employees’ passion about their jobs back into the mix:

  1. Employee Responsibility and Empowerment
    Give employees the chance to take on responsibility for their own engagement. It should not only be driven from the top but more of a grass-roots movement. And then empower them to make decisions about how they do their job in a way that will engage them further.
  2. Frequent, Informal, Short, Quick Surveys
    There has been much debate recently about the best employee engagement survey frequency. Annual engagement surveys have their place, but more frequent conversations about engagement can have a more immediate impact.  Check in as a manager with quick, informal surveys or in your one-on-one employee meetings to learn about what may be keeping employees from doing their jobs wholeheartedly.
  3. Real-Time Solutions
    Who better than employees themselves to suggest real-time solutions to improve engagement? Harness their thoughts and ideas in a way that addresses problems immediately. There’s nothing to be gained, and much to be lost, by waiting for the data analysis of annual surveys and subsequent top-down solutions.
  4. Ongoing Commitment
    Keep at it. Engagement needs to be regularly reinforced if you want to keep your workforce motivated.  Show that you as a manager are fully committed to the kind of ongoing learning that promotes the kind of caring you want from your employees.

The Bottom Line
Decreasing engagement is not the sole responsibility of HR.  It needs to be addressed at multiple levels.  By actively involving your employees in real-time solutions, you show that you support them and invest in earning their discretionary effort, advocacy, and loyalty.

To learn more about what motivates employees, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

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