When your employees are engaged with your business, you have a much greater chance to grow a profitable business and keep your customers satisfied.
So what makes an engaged employee? How does their engagement affect your business? How can you achieve engagement with your staff?
As an employer you need to create the right environment to allow engagement to flourish in your workforce. To help you get the basics in place, here are four steps to follow:
1. Create a strategic story – Where are you? Where have you been? Where are you going? As a business owner you probably know this, but do your employees feel part of that story? If they know the story, it lets them see how the work they do fits in with the business’s goals. This isn’t something you can simply put on a poster on the wall to get buy in. You need to repeat the story over and over again to employees and give them a sense of ownership in it. If your story is on the wall, ask your staff to add to it; create a timeline of diagrams, new solutions and innovations leading to your company’s goals. Create a buzz and encourage people to share their ideas, so they can see how their achievements fit into your company’s ‘big picture’.
2. Engage managers – If you try to engage your staff without first engaging your managers you may get limited results. Many employees’ motivation and engagement will depend on how they feel towards their bosses. If those managers are not engaged themselves, where’s the motivation to engage their people? Engaged managers focus their people and enable them to get the job done, treat their team members as individuals and coach and stretch them. When your managers build bigger relationships with people as individuals, those workers will make bigger contributions.
3. Give employees a voice – Listening is a key part in giving employees a voice but it doesn’t stop at the 360-degree survey. A survey might tell you how people are feeling at a certain point in time but it doesn’t tell you why they are feeling like that. Members of staff have insights into why and where things are going wrong. Somebody knows before the event that something is going to go wrong. If they know that they can speak up and be listened to, the problem can be pointed out before it becomes a disaster.
Employees who are able to speak up will share the good as well as the bad. If they feel that their ideas are listened to, they’ll share them, which will increase their engagement in their work.
4. Make sure there is organisational integrity – This means avoiding the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality. If your company’s values are not reflected in the day-to-day behaviours of managers or colleagues, then it will be seen as a corporate spin exercise and will not be trusted by employees. When your values are aligned between staff and managers, then trust is created and so is engagement.
Different companies will need to create different engagement programmes, but if you follow these four steps, you’ll be able to create a strong foundation for any efforts you make to increase employee engagement and develop your business.
Are your employees engaged? Are they giving their all to your business? If they’re not, then come to our workshop on 17 April 2013 in Reading. During the workshop, from 9.30am – 12.30pm, we will look at key ways to improve engagement of your employee, in order toincrease profitability, efficiency and achieve faster growth, and improve attendance, retention and job satisfaction
It is being held at Symantec, Green Park, Reading and costs just £20 +VAT to attend. To book your place online, click here and scroll through the list of events to 17 April 2013.