Companies with engaged employees consistently and substantially outperform their competitors – they are more productive, are much less likely to quit, and can be incredibly effective ambassadors for your organisation. Here are five approaches to employee engagement to make sure your staff have a truly emotional and functional commitment to your organisation.
We should all know it’s important to make sure that employees are aware of an organisation’s collective vision, but it’s equally as important to help them understand their purpose and role in reaching that vision. If an employee understands how their job and the job of their team fits into the wider strategy of the organisation, the greater sense of purpose makes it much more likely that they’ll execute well.
Take it one step further and talk about the impact that your organisation has on the world around them – studies have found that younger employees, in particular, are highly motivated by the societal, rather than financial impact, their organisation has. This doesn’t mean that they’re unconcerned about their own remuneration, it means that they want to work for organisations that have a purpose that goes beyond financial success.
Inspire, Listen & Lead
Committed, productive and satisfied employees have inspiring leaders, who work with their teams to set goals, guide performance and provide a culture of listening. Many leaders are guilty of micromanaging and controlling the output of their employees, rather than listening to them and demonstrating values of co-creation and collaboration, which not only keeps engagement and productivity levels high but often provides a unique, first-hand perspective of an organisation’s strengths, challenges and opportunities. ‘No man is an island’ – resist the temptation to run your team like this!
Training & Mentoring
Continuous learning is one of the strongest employee motivators, so make sure you invest in training and professional development opportunities for your employees. For those assuming new roles and responsibilities, training will provide the confidence in required skills and expertise, and motivation to put these to use (particularly important for new leaders). Equally, in an environment of change and transformation, there’s little else that convinces an employee they’re valued more than training and professional development. Mentoring is one step further – a regular ‘sounding board’ and support mechanism will keep engagement and accountability levels high of some of your most critically important employees.
Most people automatically think of compensation and benefits when thinking about reward, and whilst appropriate pay is really important, non-monetary rewards have shown to be as important to engagement and retention as hefty salary increases and bonuses. Flexibility, additional responsibilities, and public recognition all top the list for ways that you can encourage productivity, accountability and focus on your staff.
You can’t overestimate how important a pleasant working environment is to employee motivation – create an environment where staff feel empowered and inspired. Encourage collaboration, create healthy competition, and celebrate individual and team successes. Remember that your team is a sum of parts and each person has their strengths and weaknesses – give staff the chance to operate within their areas of strength – they will not only be more confident and motivated, but they’ll inspire others around them.