Three Ways to Increase Employee Engagement
Every great business relies on great employees in order to thrive and grow. Being in the business of recruitment and retained search, we are uniquely aware of how important it is to identify and hire top talent. The mistake many companies make, however, is thinking the process stops there. Unfortunately, it is not enough to accumulate excellent people, it is also crucial to continue developing their skills and passion going forward.
More than ever before, employees are looking for a more engaging and rewarding workplace experience. Modern spending habits are shifting away from a product-oriented consumer culture toward an “experience economy” which values experiences over the accumulation of objects and the modern workplace is seeing a similar shift take place. Millennials, which represent the next generation of employees, have different ideas about what constitutes a successful and satisfying position. Compared with previous generations, less emphasis is being placed on salary and status. Instead, these younger employees are searching for better work-life balance and are interested in less tangible benefits such as flexibility, creativity and a more enjoyable workplace culture.
There has always been value in strong staff morale, but with these types of criteria being increasingly prioritized, the need to keep your employees actively engaged in the success of the company is more important than ever before.
As an employer, your primary role is to be the figurehead who employees can come to for help and guidance. American interpersonal relations expert Dale Carnegie’s analysis on Emotional Drivers of Human Engagement shows us that, “feeling valued, confident, inspired, enthused and empowered are the key emotions that lead to engagement.”
The best leaders inspire these emotions in their employees. Those who feel that their opinions are valued within the organization are far more likely to be invested in their work. This means better morale, increased enthusiasm and much greater productivity.
Of course, while some people are simply born with the ability to engage and motivate others, these qualities don’t come naturally to everyone. Luckily, though, there is no shortage of great resources that can help successful industry leaders also become successful workplace leaders. Management seminars, leadership courses or enlisting the aid of experienced HR consultants can all help maximize the production of your workforce.
Provide a Healthy Work Environment
A healthy, relaxed employee is much more likely to be a satisfied and productive employee. Providing ample breaks, vacation time and a comfortable working environment is the bare minimum. It is also important to set realistic production goals and to show flexibility when, inevitably, things don’t go exactly as planned. Giving your employees a voice in the process can also be a powerful motivational tool, not to mention providing a platform for improvement. So, while it can be tempting for managers in competitive industries to focus on effort and production above all else, marginalizing the well-being of your employees is a sure way to hurt growth and profitability in the long run.
Every employer needs to provide feedback occasionally when managing staff. How this is done, however, can be key to maintaining workplace morale and employee satisfaction. Too often, the only feedback employees ever experience is negative. When everything goes smoothly and an employee performs impeccably owners and managers often simply accept this as a matter of course. When things go wrong, however, employees are sure to hear about it. This type of unbalanced approach can drive a rift between you and your staff, limit motivation and harm the general mood of the workplace. Making a point of recognizing a job well done is an easy way to ensure staff feel as though their hard work is appreciated and motivates them to perform to the best of their abilities. And even criticism can be handled in relatively positive manner, by focusing more on where they can improve and less on what they have done wrong. Yes, employees need to made aware of mistakes and poor performance, but sometimes all it takes is a little tact and understanding to turn a potentially toxic situation into a learning opportunity.
An engaged workforce is the cornerstone of every successful organization, yet it remains an underappreciated aspect of the HR process. The experienced specialists at Search Consultants Inc. have been helping growing companies build their teams for 15 years. Contact us today to see how we can help optimize your business.