Did you read through the recent Gallup Poll on the State of the American Workplace? Then your know that 70% of employees aren’t engaged. You’ve no doubt felt this in your business and you’re searching for tips to get your employees more engaged with your organization and their work – that’s why you’re reading this, right? I’m going to share those tips to you in short order. Let me run this by you first: If you’re looking to engage employees, that means you and/or your leaders may not be engaged WITH THEM.
Let me ask you these questions:
- When was the last time you sat in the lunch room with the employees who just happened to be in there? Or hung out by the coffee machine around 10:00 am?
- Do you have an hour or two allocated every week to meet with different staff members – in their space, not yours? Or at least in a neutral space? Where you ask them questions but, mostly, you listen? And YOU walk away with To Dos?
- Do you consistently reward publicly and redirect privately? And when you redirect, do you first ask that employee to help you understand the situation? “Nick, I’ve heard this and this, and saw this. Can you help me understand what happened?” Then listen BEFORE you take action.
If you start with those three tips, you’ll be taking significant steps toward creating a workplace where employee can flourish and feel safe to engage. What? Not doing any of these? Pick one and try it.
Here are three more traditional tips to increase employee engagement:
- Encourage personal development: Help your employees to make action plans from their annual goals. An employee wants to begin the process to earn her Master’s? Let her know she has the time, space, and possibly funds to do that. An employee wants to have more of a leadership presence in the community? Sponsor him to participate in your local Chamber’s leadership program, or encourage him to join a non-profit board of directors.
- Provide regular state-of-the-company updates. Even if you feel like nothing of significance is going on, still keep information flowing both ways. Keep company processes as transparent as possible. If there are issues in your workplace, your employees may provide the best solutions.
- Offer extra training and coaching. If an employee is a rising leader, start offering him or her the opportunity to work with a coach or attend an external conference. Even if an employee isn’t moving towards a leadership position, he or she will benefit from education in their area of expertise.
I’d love to help you create an employee-centered workplace whether your business is in the Berkshires of Massachusetts or in NYC. Send me an email or learn more at here on the website.