5 Tips for Engaging EmployeesMay 11, 2016
Your employees keep your business moving forward. Every workday, you trust that your employees will do the tasks set before them in exchange for a paycheck and perhaps benefits.
But is that all there is to it?
If you trust what studies suggest, the answer is no. Employees are people, not machines, and it’s in your best interest as a business owner or upper level manager to make sure that your employees are happy and engaged. After all, happy employees are likely to be 12% more productive than complacent or unhappy employees. Think about yourself — how likely would you be to perform at your best if you were unhappy or apathetic towards your job?
Here are 5 tips to engaging your employees that will help create a productive, happy workplace:
1. Effective, Open Communication
If your employees feel that they can’t communicate their needs (and wants), they’re not going to feel respected. And if they don’t feel respected, they’re probably not going to be engaged in their work. Keep the lines of communication open by inviting questions, sharing successes, and communicating effectively. Be clear about your expectations and what you want to see your employees doing. Not clearly communicating can be detrimental not only to the engagement of the employee, but also to the success of your business as a whole.
2. Recognize Accomplishments
You don’t have to have a cheesy employee of the month in order to recognize an employee’s accomplishment. Communicate when you are happy with an employee’s performance, notice when they are working hard to achieve the company’s goals, and when they excel in their job. Beyond communication, if an employee is going above and beyond, recognize their hard work with a small token of your appreciation. It doesn’t have to come in the form of a large bonus — even small gestures go a long way. Be fair to all employees, though. You don’t want anyone feeling left out or treated unfairly, as that can backfire. When you take notice, your employees will strive to continue to receive positive reinforcement.
3. Empower Employees
If you trust your employees to make decisions, let them make them. One of the hardest things for business owners and upper level management is to allow their employees to take initiative and make decisions. Don’t micromanage them — empower them to do their jobs well.
4. Get Employee Feedback (and use it!)
Let your team know their opinions matter by asking for feedback. But, don’t let that feedback be an empty gesture. Work to implement their suggestions and keep in mind that they are on the front lines. They will be engaged when they see their ideas in play. While you may not always be able to apply their feedback, be clear and explain why. They will stay engaged if the lines of communication are open and if they know their feedback is valued.
5. Lead by Example
If your expectations are for your employees to be engaged, at work on time, you need to lead by example and show your employees how to behave. They will mirror your actions and you will gain respect from your employees if you are on the same team. If you don’t lead by example, your employees will question why they have to bother if upper level management isn’t following the rules. This can lead to employees becoming disengaged and apathetic, which is the opposite of what you want.
Overall, engaged employees will work hard for your business and help bring in successes for everyone.