We all seem to get it by now — more engaged employees perform at a higher level. The organizations that get their strategy right in this area provide a superior customer experience, have lower levels of employee churn, higher morale, and ultimately much higher financial performance. Their customers love them more! What can you easily implement that will give you a big lift in your levels of employee engagement with the lowest investment?
First, hire right. Making the right hire is well over half of the battle in your employee engagement levels. Hire people who believe what you believe and have the attitude you want. Get that right, and the following 7 ideas can help them thrive.
Embrace and adopt a strengths-focused culture
People excel in their areas of talent and strengths. You can find many assessments to help you in this area. But the key is focusing on people’s strengths first. Identify them, and then figure out how you can stretch them in those areas. Once it takes hold, it impacts decision-making, structuring project teams and the particular talents are required for a specific project. It does not mean you ignore their weaknesses, but your people become more engaged when doing what they naturally do best.
Volunteerism and company support from top-down
It’s important to help the communities in which you serve. You cannot underestimate the impact of allowing your people to volunteer (yes, even on company time). It is beyond giving back, it is team building, networking and uniting around a common problem to overcome obstacles. With regard to engagement levels, this is one of the highest-rated items on many Employee Engagement surveys, and it is a multiplier in terms of return on happier and more satisfied employees.
Make friends at work
Some of you may be skeptical, but according to the 2017 Gallup Study of the American Workplace, having a best friend at work has a high correlation with engagement and higher productivity. But how can your organizations help support this? Embrace deeper mentoring programs and relationships. This should be aligned in initial onboarding so the mentor can assist and facilitate introductions, networking and group activities. The more in and out of work activities that you can schedule aids in bonding, networking, and ultimately friendships.
Establish “fun” committees
Whatever you call or brand your internal efforts to schedule fun stuff, give it to the people who are passionate, and let them run. Never underestimate the impact of happy hours, food trucks, bowling and other fun activities to help your people get to know each other better on a personal level and perform better in teams.
Really celebrate successes and wins
When someone does something awesome, find ways to recognize and reward the behavior you want. It is amazing how many employees still only get feedback primarily when they have done something wrong. So many leaders simply expect great performance, and then think they are providing fantastic coaching and leadership when they rip apart someone’s performance that screwed up. That management style is already going the way of the dinosaur if you are really looking to attract and retain the top employees of tomorrow.
Extend trust to get trust
Play a game of “What Rule or Outdated Process Can We Kill?” Once a quarter, include in any
Extend trust to get trust (pt. 2)
Your people are on social media. While there are some specific instances of
These tips can help you immediately in your employee engagement efforts at a relatively low cost. The key differentiator for organizations moving forward will be in how they become an employer of choice. Those who are able to bring their best effort and energy to work each day are the ones who become truly engaged and deliver the ultimate customer experience and help you build the loyalty you deserve.