A recent Gallup poll placed employee engagement in US companies at about 30%. That’s right, less than a third of employees throughout the country feel engaged in their jobs. So how did we get here? What’s missing? These are questions that employers all over the country are asking themselves, and it turns out that the answers aren’t that complicated.
People want to be appreciated, they want to feel like their voice is heard by management, and they want to know that their work matters. Below are some tips for increasing the level of employee engagement in your enterprise:
- Communication – This means honest, bi-directional, frequent exchange of ideas and information. Talk to people, and listen to their answers. Get to know them. Ask for feedback, ask for their ideas, and pay attention to the responses. This fosters a climate of trust and respect, which creates loyalty.
- Passion – Passion is contagious and inspiring. Passionate leaders are more engaged in their businesses, and tend to lead from the trenches, which inspires others to follow.
- Integrity – Remember that actions speak louder than words. If you want to instill these values in your corporate culture, you have to live them every day, as do your other managers.
- Respect – Don’t waste employees’ time and then wonder why they’re not getting their jobs done. Keep meetings running on schedule, simplify organizational structures, and eliminate needless red tape. Respect employees’ knowledge and expertise, and trust them to ask for help if they need it.
- Recognition – Ranging from a simple “thank you” to cash bonuses and promotions, merit-based recognition is a valuable tool. When companies are struggling, recognition often ceases, as large financial incentives are no longer possible. Don’t be afraid to get creative when the budget is tight, though. A gift certificate for a lavish dinner out or a weekend away may not take the place of a quarterly bonus, but it will leave the employee with the certainty that their efforts are valued and appreciated. Likewise, regular public recognition for excellence will keep employees engaged and motivated, and costs the employer nothing.
- Transparency – Make sure employees understand the results of their contributions to the company, and that they have a clear path to advancement. When both manager and employee agree on how the employee’s performance will be objectively measured, the employee is much more likely to excel. They know what is expected, and what is required to make advancements in their career. Conduct performance reviews on a regular schedule, and reward employees who achieve their goals.
- Accountability – Hold yourself, your managers, and your employees to high standards. Take action when an employee is not performing, and figure out why. Nothing is more de-motivating to the rest of the team than feeling that they’re carrying the weight of co-workers who aren’t doing their job.
For more information on measuring employee engagement, I would encourage you to read Ryan Fuller’s article in Harvard Business Review, A Primer on Measuring Employee Engagement.
Curious about how Hireix helps companies hire and retain engaged employees? Email Amy Bloom for more information on the Accurate Hiring System™