When you run your own company, you may be engaging with your employees in the same ways that you’ve learned to get along with family and friends. Unfortunately, the intimacy that you share with those close to you doesn’t always translate well when engaging with relative strangers with quirky personalities. If you’re too friendly, then you’ll be surprised by employees who don’t take your suggestions to be more productive seriously. If you then switch, taking on the role of a dispassionate leader, you’ll be baffled by why you’re now greeted with masked defiance.
Although engagement is as important in your business as it is with personal relationships the rules on how to engage are somewhat different. Here are 3 tips on how to engage better with employees:
- Track the success of your employee engagement policies.
By definition, a business is an organization. This means that an effective business is an organized one. Consequently, when you create company policies to encourage engagement, software is helpful in keeping track of how well things are going. In fact, there is software to engage employees. Employee engagement software helps you keep your company’s engagement policies organized. For instance, it makes it easier to streamline communications, facilitate peer-to-peer recognition strategies, and access reporting that measures the success of your initiatives.
- Find out what your employees want from their jobs.
If you understand what employees want and expect from their work for your company, it can transform your business. Naturally, the best way to find out is to ask them. However, you have to ask structured questions; otherwise you’ll acquire too much miscellaneous information. One way to ask is through surveys. They will tell you what employees really want from your organization.
Here are some tips to get the most value from a survey:
- 1. Ask direct, simple, and straightforward questions. For instance, ask them if they are interested in increasing growth opportunities with your company, if they want to achieve greater efficiency in daily tasks, or if they want to expand their skill sets?
- 2. Make the surveys anonymous. If people have to put their name on a survey form, they are far more likely to give you an answer you want to hear rather than provide helpful insights.
- 3. Make the survey itself engaging. Increase enthusiasm for the survey by disseminating the findings from the survey and holding group discussions about them.
- 4. Besides asking for “yes” or “no” responses, also ask open-ended questions and provide plenty of space in the survey form for people to share their candid opinions.
- 4. Act on the results you receive. For instance, if you receive a large number of requests to provide technical skills for a software program your company uses, then follow through and arrange classes. If you fail to act on popular suggestions, everyone will feel betrayed. You’ll be increasing a sense of apathy, a sullen, unspoken, “why bother” attitude.
- Dip into the research on employee engagement.
While you can probably come up with a few ideas on your own about some good ways of increasing employee engagement, it’s still worth spending the time to review the literature. This research will help you develop relevant strategies to improve employee engagement. Based on tracking employee engagement in the workplace for over a decade, Gallup and other organizations have gathered statistics that suggest that there really is a crisis in the United States when it comes to employees showing an interest in their work.
In closing, it’s essential that you don’t think of employee engagement as a peripheral issue that you’ll deal with when you have more time. The shocking truth about employee engagement is that if you don’t do anything to encourage it, then it will hurt your company’s bottom line. According to a study conducted by Dale Carnegie Training, $11 Billion is lost each year to employee turnover and companies with engaged employees outperform those without them by up to 202 percent.”
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