Whitepapers abound touting the importance of employee engagement. When an employee feels like they are an active part of a larger picture, turnover decreases, productivity surges, quality intensifies, and the company prevails. The question becomes not “Why should I engage my employees?” but rather “How in the world do I do it?”
These five tips just may surprise you.
- Get out of the number game. Sure, having quantitative goals are important (sales quotas, bottom lines, revenues), but unless you translate them to measures of human potential, most of your workforce will just glaze over. Personalize the effort by demonstrating how each individual can add to the achievement.
- Let people know you see them. This admonition from Jessica Esch, social media expert for the United Way of Greater Portland, really sums it up. This means switching from “announce” to “receive”, and making the conscious effort to acknowledge the opinions and activities of others.
- Drive-by recognition. “Seeing” people in this way doesn’t have to be large or orchestrated. It’s as simple as saying “I noticed you [enter good work here]. Thanks.” and “I appreciated it when you [saved-the-day moment here].” Don’t over glamorize or belabor; it will come off rehearsed and insincere. Find a moment, and be grateful for it out loud.
- Get feedback. Think you know everything there is to know about your company? That might be your first mistake. When you recognize that your employees may know more about their jobs—and your customers—than you do, you can form a crucial relationships that make employees feel heard, seen, and valued. Ask questions. Get opinions. Implement employee ideas.
- Hire happy people. If you aren’t able to increase employee engagement from the inside out, perhaps you need to work from the outside in. Happy people are predisposed optimists, and their dispositions can be contagious. Don’t let them do the heavy lifting for you; rather, use their positive attitudes and smiles to infect the office and give you a chance to work the room.
How do you engage your employees in your company culture and corporate goals?