These days the business buzzword is employee engagement. But if this is such a trending topic, why is engagement at an all time low?
Perhaps it is because businesses believe they can ‘buy’ engagement with intricate programs designed to include and motivate their staff, when in fact all it does is waste time, money and resources. You can lead a horse to water, but the willingness to drink must come from within. Engagement must be an inside job that focuses on communication, quality of staff and most importantly, communication. Yes, we’re aware we’ve said it twice.
Hire happy people.
It’s not uncommon to have a colleague who comes into work under a dark cloud of victim mentality. This is not someone who most people want to be around, and naturally they aren’t going to be the company’s strongest performer.
You can’t force someone to love their job – some responsibility must lie with the person as well. So when employers are at the interview stage, there should be clear communicative indicators as to whether this person is disengaged from the outset. Talk to them about their life, their ambitions, their ideal role and what it is about it that would make them happy. If the answers are lacklustre at most, this should be a clear warning sign that perhaps it would be wiser to choose someone else.
Hire people who are willing to do the work.
Engagement can be nurtured, but must already be a part of the person’s mental attitude towards work, so if an employee comes to work each day with the weight of the world on their shoulders and the mindset that they have ‘too much going on’ to give their full efforts, it is time to start thinking of a solution. Ideally, employees should be willing to take responsibility for their role within the business, but this may be asking a lot if, well, they aren’t quite sure what that role is.
The most effective thing to do is to communicate with employees, making them aware of how their direct role fits in with the values and successes of the business as a whole. Once an employee can see the bigger picture and feel part of its formation, the likelihood is they will be more willing to give their all to make sure that success continues to grow.
Begin engagement with action; not more surveys.
Surveys are effective tools, no doubt about it, but only if they actually bring about change. If employees in a business are continuously waiting on the outcome of past surveys, it is redundant to think of making another one.
Make sure employees can see that their opinions are not going unnoticed. Again, communication is key here; acting upon the advice of the staff who will actually benefit from the change is a method not only to empower, but to open the much needed lines of communication between higher ups and customer facing employees.
Grow engagement from the bottom; not from the top.
Methods to improve engagement are not only valid when taken from the mouths of ‘executives’ and ‘directors’ – why not ask the people who are out selling your products or services what they think will help improve the business? The best way to find out what makes employees more committed or productive is to ask them. Simple as that. Once these ideas are quickly embraced, it is probable that businesses will see the immediate effects of both engagement levels and increased revenue.
For a business to be successful, there must be no restriction in lines of communication. Bosses and employees are not different species, and the sooner this distinction has been thoroughly extinguished, the quicker companies will see how effective their workforce can really become.
Information taken from Forbes.