Employee engagement is a crucial issue, whether you manage two or 20 people. When workers are engaged with their jobs, they tend to be more enthusiastic, innovative and motivated to perform well. What's more, they are more likely to be happier at the office, leading to lower turnover. By finding ways to increase engagement on an individual level, you can boost output and improve productivity for the whole team.
Be a Source of Pride
Employees want to be proud of their employers, according to research from "Workforce." Workers with pride in their companies come to the office each day knowing that their efforts make a difference in the world. In any industry, managers can take steps to create an organization that workers admire. For example, employers can designate a specific amount of money for each employee to give out to a charity of their choice or support a local nonprofit with regular donations. For stronger employee engagement, look to your workers for inspiration. If they are passionate about a specific cause, support that passion. For example, if workers care about building homes for low-income families, spend one afternoon each month volunteering for Habitat for Humanity or a similar organization.
Offer New Challenges
Boredom is the enemy of employee engagement. Keep the spark alive by offering new challenges that are customized to each person. To start, ask individual workers what they want out of their jobs and careers, and find ways to support those goals. If one person is interested in a leadership role, assign him project management tasks. For a person that wants to branch out into creative work, offer financial support for graphic design classes. Other options include job shadowing, skills training and workplace mentoring. This demonstrates that you value each person's development and want to help workers advance personally and professionally.
Show Your Appreciation
Appreciation can go a long way toward building employee engagement. Too often, managers get caught up in their own workloads and fail to recognize or thank their teams. Make a point to observe your employees, particularly during stressful periods. When you see someone working long hours or going above and beyond for a customer, take a minute to thank him for his efforts. Tailor your thanks to the individual's personality. For example, an outgoing person might bask in the glow of public recognition, while a shy worker might prefer one-on-one thanks. Be sure to also recognize excellent collaboration and teamwork to promote a sense of camaraderie at the office.
Empower Your People
Workers who feel burdened by policies or micromanagers are unlikely to feel a deep connection to their jobs. Whenever possible, empower your people to make decisions and create strategies that best serve the client and the company. Entrusting workers to use their experience and judgement encourages them to perform at a higher level, automatically boosting employee engagement. In addition, by releasing your grip, you give team members the freedom to come up with innovative solutions that can improve productivity and efficiency.
Effective employee engagement rarely looks the same from company to company. With open discussion and a bit of experimentation, you can discover the formula that keeps your workers happy and connected to their jobs.
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