If team members don’t feel motivated or connected to their roles, then they may be lacking engagement from senior executives. One of the key traits of an effective leader is knowing how to engage with employees to ensure they take pride in what they do and benefit the organisation as a whole.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement goes beyond whether someone enjoys their job or not. It’s about how committed they are to the success of the business, how motivated they feel and how invested they are in their role. Low employee engagement leads to a decrease in productivity and a detrimental impact on the business. Leaders have a significant role to play in ensuring that employees are engaged in their roles, with the first step being to understand your employee’s current level of engagement. Only then can you begin to work towards improving overall employee engagement.
Engaged employees are aligned with company values and mission. As an executive leader, it’s important to understand your team and make engagement a part of your leadership strategy. Here are some key questions to ask yourself:
- Are company goals and values clear and concise?
- Do employees understand and value these goals?
- Is there a clear link between the work of employees and the company goals?
- Can employees see how their work contributes to the business?
- Are you a present leader who motivates your employees?
Asking these questions will prepare you to improve employee engagement.
How can you engage effectively with your employees?
Once you’ve asked yourself the above questions, you’ll have an idea of which areas of employee engagement need the most attention, giving you a plan moving forward. You can then employ the methods below: there are plenty of ways to engage your employees.
Take the time to get to know them
As simple as it sounds, getting to know your employees is essential when it comes to engagement. Learning about their background, hobbies, family and personal goals not only shows that you care, but also shines a light on what motivates them. By regularly taking the time to chat with employees, you make them feel valued and seen.
When employees feel valued, they’re much more likely to be engaged at work and you’ll be able to motivate them easily.
Promote two-way conversation
If employees are in the dark, they aren’t engaged. When information is withheld and only shared with executives, it causes lower engagement rates among employees. Transparency is synonymous with trust, allowing employees to see how decisions impact themselves and the business as a whole.
Sharing information is vital, but conversations need to go two ways. Make sure that employees are encouraged to share their thoughts and concerns. Operate on an open-door policy so employees feel as though their opinions are valued.
Give them opportunities to show their skills
As a leader, you must be able to detect the capabilities of your employees and give them opportunities to work in areas that they excel in. Sometimes it’s best to explore beyond their job description and encourage employees to work on projects that they enjoy contributing to the most. This gives your team opportunities to showcase their skills, helping them feel confident in their abilities and enjoy their work.
Employees that engage with the business in ways that they enjoy will flourish in their roles. Being able to recognise these skills and present employees with opportunities to utilise them is a key role of a leader.
Recognise and acknowledge hard work
When employees feel as though they aren’t getting enough recognition for their hard work, they may stop delivering their maximum potential, disengaging from their roles. You can create a culture of recognition by rewarding employees for hard work with perks and incentives. Even a few words of encouragement can go a long way in making employees feel valued.
You may consider holding an employee recognition day to really go the extra mile in acknowledging your team. Consistent recognition helps to foster positive attitudes in the workplace, which is a key element of elevating employee engagement.
Make them feel connected to the company
Your employees are champions of the business’s values, which is why engaging them with an emotional connection to the organisation is key. Fostering a strong connection and shared values encourages employees to provide more personal investment and contribute a great deal more. This is a key factor to consider when hiring: do their values align with the organisation’s values? Having the same values leads to higher engagement and commitment to the role.
When sharing recent positive company results, make sure you tell your employees how their work is contributing to this success. This means employees can connect their work to the overall company mission, helping them to remain engaged.
Listen to employee feedback
Regularly engage employees in discussions centred around feedback, from the workplace environment to your leadership style. By listening and acting on employee feedback, you’ll be able to improve both as a leader and in overall employee engagement. This can be done using a regular survey or company meeting, giving employees the opportunity to actively improve their workplace. Demonstrating that management hears and cares about employee feedback sends a positive message and boosts employee engagement.
Another effective way of gaining honest employee feedback is with exit interviews. When someone is leaving the company, they’re much more likely to be frank about their experience and why they might be leaving. This feedback can provide key insight into areas for improvement.
Invest in their growth and development
Everyone values a company that not only supports their professional career, but also adds value to their lives outside of work. If you promote personal growth and development, you allow employees to explore different areas of interest. You can run training programmes or even sponsor higher education for employees. This boosts engagement and encourages loyalty to the company.
As you get to know your employees, it’ll become clear where their passions lie. By paying attention and encouraging them to explore what interests them, you’ll end up with more talented employees who are fully engaged with their work.
Lead by example
“Do as I say, not as I do” is not going to work when it comes to keeping employees engaged. You need to embody the company values and represent the standards which you hold your employees to. You can do this by getting your hands dirty and doing the work alongside your employees, to understand their roles and challenges. By taking responsibility and owning your mistakes, employees will see you as someone to relate to and won’t try to conceal their own errors.
By being someone who leads by example, employees will look up to you and wish to replicate your behaviour. This leads to a much more engaged workforce.
Why is employee engagement important?
Having satisfied employees isn’t enough to truly foster a positive workplace environment that innovates and succeeds. Employee engagement is vital when forming a reliable team that goes above and beyond what’s expected. The success of your business depends on how engaged your employees are. From productivity to absenteeism, employee engagement affects all aspects of a business.
High levels of engagement have a trickle-down effect across the entire company. Employees who have pride in their work will provide a better service to customers, boosting customer loyalty and increasing profits. Employees are the heart of your business and without them, success wouldn’t be possible, which is why employee engagement is absolutely essential. Employees who feel valued and motivated will want to do their best work to make both themselves and the company proud.
How can agp help you engage with your employees?
At agp, we offer a variety of coaching services to help you to become the best leader you can be, engaging your employees and boosting the success of your business. Our executive coaching drives self-development with bespoke training plans tailored to your specific goals, helping you to become a better leader and learn to empower employees. We also offer leadership coaching, enabling those leaders looking to build successful teams to become outstanding communicators, motivators and influencers. Our executive team coaching focuses on cultivating an effective group dynamic to produce high-performing senior teams who know how to engage and motivate their employees. No matter what position or stage of your career you’re in, our coaching services focus on improving leadership and growing innovative teams for a successful business.
By getting to know your employees, listening to their feedback and empowering them to utilise their talents, you’ll be able to raise engagement levels. When a company truly values their employees and leads by example, you allow everyone to be successful, motivated and engaged. Employee engagement is the foundation for a workplace that’s free of fear and full of positive attitudes.