Employees are the lifeblood of a business. Many studies show that employee engagement will significantly increases productivity. Your employees are a substantial part of the success of your business. A motivated and engaged employee base is imperative. Here are 3 tips for improving employee engagement:
1. Clue your employees in to the big vision: Vision seems like something to be left to the big boys, to the top executives in the cloistered boardrooms, shut away from the working masses. But the fulfillment, execution and refinement of a vision are always left to employees. Can you see the disconnect here? There’s nothing to gain from keeping the vision separated from the employees – they are the ones to get the vision implemented anyhow. They will be the ones to apply the initiatives, the ones to perform the actual tasks needed to bring the vision to life. So why shut them away? Employees should be allowed to see and understand what they’re working for. A meaningful sense of connection to an organization’s bigger vision is only a boon to productivity. When people know the rationale, when they know why they are doing something and not another, this motivates them more, as compared to just them being commanded what to do. By allowing them to see the vision, they can more easily find ways to make it a reality.
2. Engage them in policy making: Like a vision, policies may be constructed by executives, but it will be the employees that feel the brunt of company directives. So, why not allow them a say in what these directives will be? Have managers or key executives sit down with employees and actually discuss how things will be done at the company. And the possibilities are endless, too. You could talk about work policies like telecommuting options, flexible vacation plans, new feedback processes between employees and managers, etc. There are multiple areas of organizational policy that employee input can contribute to. If you’re okay with it, perhaps ask them about workweeks, and whether they can be shortened. Ask them whether they’d like less managing and more autonomy. You can even ask them whether flex-time and flex-place arrangements are something they’d consider. When you actively seek out this kind of input, it puts you in alignment with your employees, and shows them they’re truly valued.
3. Let them tell you what to improve: Being down in the trenches gives employees a different view of things than management. Management may be concerned with big-picture problems, but employees are the ones to suffer through bad policies, impractical management methods and the like. On a daily basis, they’re the ones to bear the weight of the organization’s issues. With such down-on-the-ground knowledge, you’d be foolish not to ask your employees about where you can improve. Ask them whether their managers are doing their jobs right. Ask them whether the organizations processes and culture help or hinder. Ask whether workloads and deadlines are reasonable. The list of things you can find out is endless. But the important thing is to ask with sincere and meaningful intent. If you’re going to ask, make sure to ask because you intend to act on what you learn. If they identify areas that could do with some work, listen to that input and do something about it. Rarely will you be able to show sincerity better than through action. If employees see you making a concerted effort to improve, they’ll see how they matter in a real way.
By involving employees in these 3 areas, you can increase employee engagement and increase your bottom line.
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By: James Osgood