One of the main HR objectives in many businesses is to build an engaged workforce. Employee engagement is front and centre of mind for senior management and business owners. Not just HR managers.
This is even more important these days as the march of technology continues to drive through every organisation. As people become more remote – either working remotely or needing less face-to-face time due to the technology available – organisations need to pay more attention to employee engagement.
These 8 steps should give you a good start to building an engaged workforce.
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Engagement is an ethos, a way of being. It is not a strategy
Engaging your workforce doesn’t need to be about the ‘big gesture’ strategy and attempts to win engagement through pizza lunches etc. Everyone loves pizza for lunch or a social event. These add greatly to a workplace when employees are engaged. However, it is more important to engage your employees through the simple things – feedback, leadership, respect, trust, development, fairness and honesty to name a few. Doing these things right on a consistent basis will go a long way towards creating an engaged workforce.
Doing the simple things right should become the way things are done in your company. It should become “the way we work here”. Engagement should be an ethos and a way of being in your organization. Of course, you can reward people working in this way with pizza!
Trust and Respect start with you.
You must be strong and mature enough as a management team or business owners to give out trust and respect. Let your employees understand what being trusted and respected feels like. It is a good feeling and is valuable in the workplace. Give it up front and let them understand its value. They will want to keep it.
Build an Engaged Workforce from the Bottom-Up
Empower your employees to be the best that they can be.
A bottom up approach to building engagement is best. Each individual employee has had a unique set of experiences both before and since joining your organisation. They are unique because it is only s/he who has had them and perceived/interpreted these experiences. Even though each individual employee has a unique set of requirements from work, a blanket approach to employee engagement is often adopted.
In HR, we know people are different and unique. Connect with your employees individually and enable them to find their identity within work and to become the best employee that s/he can be.
Engagement is about ‘mastery’, not competition
There is nothing wrong with having a competitive spirit. There is nothing wrong with wanting to win. Not everyone, however, is motivated by competition. Yet, many uncompetitive employees are highly productive. Some employees are motivated by mastery, personal pride in their work, achievement, self-fulfillment, and goal attainment.
Empower your employees to learn to love what they do by mastering their work and contribution to the best of their ability, rather than being in competition with others. This will satisfy many of the motivators listed in the paragraph above. A competitive person will have that within their nature and will use it as a motivator, which is absolutely fine. It doesn’t mean it has to be the currency for performance management. Used in the wrong way, or overused, competition can become a demotivator for many.
Enjoy work for what it is
Through mastery employees can learn to enjoy work for what it is and what it offers them personally. Help your employees understand why they chose to work with your company and why they choose to stay. Help them understand the bigger picture of what your company does and all the good things it achieves. Empower them with a sense of ownership and contribution to success.
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Know your employees/team members
How well do you know your employees or members of your team? Obviously, you know their names, their partner and children, and even their pet. You may also know their favorite sports team, hobbies, interests etc. This is good, even though it is only the basics. It is not enough. You need to know what drives each person.
Show an interest in each employee’s back story. Ask questions when the opportunity arises. The information you can pick up about each person is amazing including previous successes, motivators and demotivators. Employees value your interest in them.
Difference and challenge are great things
Embrace diversity and the range of strengths it can bring to your team and company. Encourage challenge – it is the lifeblood of an organization and fundamental to building an engaged workforce. Give your employees a potent voice and help them feel good about working there.
Connect and collaborate with all employees
In the modern workplace, there is no excuse for not connecting and collaborating with all your employees. Or, at least opening the opportunity for increased connectivity and collaboration. Technology has made this possible, even for the largest organizations.
What steps are you taking to build an engaged workforce? Request a call back to learn how etimes2 can help your leaders achieve amazing results through engaged teams