Employee engagement can be difficult to define, and even harder to measure.
Simply defined, employee engagement (or the lack thereof) is essentially equal to employee morale. Morale is usually a symptom of the cultural environment at your organization, including both leadership and employees. An engaged workforce possesses the necessary skills, knowledge, and expertise to do their job.
First, you have to understand what your employees need. There are a ton of lists out there about this (and we’ve looked at a lot of them), but we’ve boiled it down to the top seven tips that we saw over and over again.
1. Show Appreciation
A job well-done should always be appreciated. Not only is it important for employees to feel that their work matters, but as a manager, you need to let them know that you personally appreciate their contribution and that you’re proud of it. Employees want to know that what they’re doing is part of what makes the organization successful.
2. Give Employees a Voice
It’s important for employees to feel that they’re being heard, and that their opinion not only matters, but is a valuable asset to the organization. When employees are continually shot down they’ll begin using their voice elsewhere, like behind leadership’s back.
3. Give and Receive Feedback
This goes both ways, employees need your feedback so they know where they stand with you, but as a manager, you should be seeking feedback from employees as well. This give and take relationship draws in otherwise disengaged employees and makes them feel that they have a stake in the direction of the organization.
For more on giving and receiving feedback, check out this free guide on building great relationships at work.
4. Frequent Updates
No one likes to be out of the loop, especially in the workplace. Not sharing company information not only makes employees feel unimportant, but it also leaves them to come to their own conclusions. Organizations should strive for transparency in order to build trust.
Have you told your employees that they’re doing a good job lately? Regular encouragement actually inspires better job performance.
When an employee feels that they’re not doing well, they will be less motivated to work hard. However, when their work is noticed and they’re given genuine encouragement to improve performance, they become engaged and more driven.
6. Offer Training and Development
When employees feel that you’re invested in their personal and professional development and committed to helping them do their job better, they’re likely to be more invested at work.
The importance of training for both hard and soft skills can’t be overstated. When an employee isn’t trained properly, it will shape their perception of how much the company values them.
7. Sense of Belonging
When an employee feels like they belong at their organization, they’re more likely to be engaged. Try including everyone on the team in meetings, not just a select few.
Also, plug new hires into the community and find ways to give them an emotional connection to the organization. For more info on this, check out this infographic on employee onboarding.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to assess how well you’re doing each of these things and identify gaps. Taking steps to improve in all eight of these areas is sure to help you boost employee engagement.