What is 2020 going to look like for your company? Perhaps it will be about innovative products, or perhaps this year you will focus on growth. There are many goals to be made at the beginning of a new year but I think it’s safe to say that everyone's goal is to succeed.
One of the key factors in having your company succeed is knowing how to engage employees. As a manager and leader, you want your employees to have pride in what they do because you know those who work with purpose put forth their best efforts, a practice that will ultimately benefit your organization.
To get you started to see how engaged your employees actually are try asking yourself these questions:
- How much do my employees care what happens to the company's future?
- Are they committed to helping it grow and be successful?
- Are my company’s goals and visions clear?
- Do my employees understand your company’s goals and visions?
- Can your employees see how their work contributes to the success of the company?
- Is there a clear link between the company’s goals and employee’s work?
By evaluating these questions, you can begin to look closer at how well engaged your employees are.
Why care about employee engagement?
In 2016 Glassdoor conducted a survey that found that 53% of American employees believe that if they lost their job, they were confident to find a new job within 6 months with similar current compensation. One thing this trend shows us is that if you, as an employer do not give your employees a reason to stay, then it will be easy for them to find a different job.
Employees who are at a higher level of engagement not only have the desire to stay at their current job but they are willing to work hard for the success of their company.
A study done by Glint showed that over a period of a year, the regrettable attrition rate of disengaged employees is 12 times higher than highly engaged employees. Having engaged employees can’t be overstated. Employee engagement has proved to reduce staff turnover, retain customers, make more profits and improve productivity. Most importantly, engaged employees are happier both at work and at home.
Engaged employees come to work every day because they believe in what they are doing. They believe in the company and want to see it succeed. They don't arrive every day just to collect a paycheck. They are committed to their work, which drives them to help the company reach its goals.
How to Engage your employees in 2020
There are many strategies you can implement in your organization to help drive your team to success:
1. Thank Your Employees for Their Hard Work
I know it sounds simple but saying the words “Thank you” goes a long way. You don’t want your employees to ever question or worry if they are part of the team. When you recognize people when they don’t expect it, it earns a ton of points! Your employees will feel that you care. They will feel valued. Steve Pritchard, CEO of Checklate says;
“If employees are not made to feel as though they matter at work, they can easily become disengaged, so it’s imperative to try and tackle this. There are plenty of simple things we can do to recognize hard-working staff, such as saying thank you to an employee going the extra mile, giving feedback on a regular basis or acknowledging loyalty to the company.”
People, in general, like to be valued at their jobs, with appreciation being one of the most sought-after forms of praise in the workplace. It’s encouraging, and creates job satisfaction, therefore resulting in less turnover, better performance and promotes employee engagement.
2. Allow a Flexible Work Schedule
Your employees will be busy in the office but you have to remember that they also have huge commitments outside of the office. Offering flexible working hours allows employees to be fully committed to both their personal and professional lives. They won’t be sitting in the office feeling guilty that they missed their child's school performance. Your generosity with company time will not go unnoticed. Flexible working hours mean that employees will be more productive when they are in the office.
3. Detect the Positive Capabilities in People
There are a lot of negative things one can do or say but one of the biggest impacts you can have on engaging your employees is simply noticing the gifts and talents of your employees. Throw their job description out the door and focus on each employee's abilities to help you create the outcomes you desire.
Everyone wants to enjoy their work, so allow your employees to engage with the business by giving them the flexibility to explore how they can best contribute to the company. Tim Uittenbroek Founder of VPNMash suggests that the company vision can be incorporated in every aspect of the workplace. He says;
“The best practice is to involve your staff in business planning. This will help them in apprehending the vision and mission of the company and also nurture the feelings of compassion for the company in them.”
By allowing your employees in business planning, they are able to connect better with the vision of the company. It is then up to you to help them see how their abilities are aligned with the company's goals and vision. Expand your leadership lens to find what matters most to your employees and allow them to grow.
Tip: Expand your leadership lens to find what matters most to your employees and allow them to grow. Get together with each employee and write down their goals. Decide together how their goals can match up with the company's vision. Together you can create tasks that help both your company and your employee to grow.
4. Allow Time for Creativity
It’s easy to be caught up in the mundane like catching up on emails, taking inventory and product research. Now, these tasks are important and necessary but they take little creativity to get the job done. Schedule some time for your teams and employees to explore their creative sides. You will never know what an employee is capable of accomplishing unless you stop micromanaging and start allowing them to discover their full potential. Employees are engaged when they are empowered to explore endless possibilities.
Using tools like ProSky can help exponentially with employee creativity and productivity. With ProSky you can place every employee on a progressive, personalized pathway that will help them be more effective in their current and future job roles. Personalize training, evaluations, feedback, and communication in an efficient manner for each employee. They are also able to join in on challenges and projects that will not only build up their teams but will challenge their creativity.
5. Share Your Success to Build Their Momentum
Share your leadership success with your employees and allow them to experience it with you. Sharing your success with your employees and making them feel an important part of that success story is a sign of trust. Employees want to support their leaders- even more when that leader is transparent with not only their success but with their weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Employees don’t need their leaders to be perfect or right but to be open and honest.
As a leader, you can use even the smallest success stories to infuse motivation. There is so much negativity that we give each other and ourselves but when we remind each other to take a look at where we were and where we've come, we can refocus and keep going towards our goals. A genuine collaboration between leaders and their employees drives engagement and creates a meaningful environment for everyone.
6. Create a Culture Where People Feel Rewarded and Valued
This means making sure people have challenges and feel appreciated by their peers and employers. It’s making sure that people feel ownership of what they are working on. All employees want to know that their voice is being heard. Everyone should have the opportunity to explore new things for the company. Their voices should be heard and respected, even if they are contributing ideas on things they aren't working on.
When employees feel valued, they are happy and people who are happy, stay and do the most effective work. One of the main keys to happiness is having opportunities to do work that has an impact. It’s important that people feel empowered and productive. Betty Rodriguez Senior Workplace Analyst at FitSmallBusiness said that one way they are engaging their employees this year is researching volunteer opportunities that will involve both remote and HQ teams.
“The general sense is that people want to give back to their communities and if we can do this as a company, we will continue to connect and bond with each other which fuels higher Performance.”
Another way for employees to feel valued is to build your team. Team building isn't just about going to get a drink after work (although it can certainly be a good thing to do to establish unity and community). It’s about uniting people around their work. Letting them know that the knowledge they share together is valued and that their contributions matter. At most companies, employees are told what to do but if you can create a culture where people feel valued, they can choose what problems they want to solve and this will always lead to a deeper personal commitment to a challenge.
7. Communicate Through Multiple Channels Constantly
Employees want to understand why decisions are made, or why the company is moving in the direction that it’s moving. There are tactics you can implement to make communication a priority:
- Weekly/Monthly Meetings: Give teams an opportunity to tell the rest of the company what they are working on and what they hope to accomplish.
- Surveys/Feedback: Allowing your employees to let you know what things need to be improved within the company.
- Quarterly meetings: Review of company goals and an honest assessment of progress toward those goals. Announce promotions and be clear to how and why people are rewarded.
Communication is a two-way street. If you expect your employees to communicate with you, then you have to be open and transparent with them. Sean Hayes, General Manager for Hausera thinks that;
“A good way for anybody in a leadership position to further engage employees, particularly around the beginning of a new year, is to gather as much feedback as possible on beneficial changes that should be made. Whether it's office culture, or optimizing a more technical process, it's important to not only gather feedback, but to make it abundantly clear to your employees that their feedback will be valued.”
8. Provide Them With the Tools for Success
As a manager, you not only have to oversee the business, but you have to be sure your employees understand what they are doing. Training with each employee's job descriptions in mind can help them be more confident in what they are doing. If one employee does not know what they need to do, then the rest of the team members have to stop what they are doing to handle the situation. Productivity goes out the window.
The same problem can occur if employees feel overwhelmed by the situation. What could have been a small task like training your employees properly, then becomes a huge ordeal. Even if additional training is needed, provide your employees with a strong foundation so that they can take steps toward being engaged.
A strong foundation to every successful business lies within the goals, values, and vision of the organization. From the founder of the company, down to the interns who pick up coffee, every single employee wants to feel heard, trusted and valued. They want to know that the work they are doing has an impact.
Making your employees feel like they are part of the team is necessary for maintaining high levels of engagement. Engaged employees will reduce staff turnover, retain customers, improve productivity and make more profits.
Sign up for a demo to learn more about how ProSky can help engage your employees.