Employee engagement is a concept that is getting a lot of attention lately. But there are good reasons that it’s worth paying attention to:
- Highly engaged employees outperform their disengaged colleagues by 20 to 28 percent. (The Conference Board)
- Engaged employees generate 40 percent more revenue than disengaged ones. (Hay Group)
- Of those who are highly engaged, 68 percent believe they can impact costs in their job or unit, versus 19 percent of the disengaged.
- Engaged employees take an average of nearly 60 percent fewer sick days per year than disengaged employees. (Gallup)
- Engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to leave the organization than the disengaged. (Corporate Leadership Council)
Employee engagement makes a real difference–in profits, in productivity, and in results. If you’re not sure how to build employee engagement, here are 61 ideas you can try”
1. Align your company with a purpose. It’s important to align your company with an overall purpose. Don’t focus on what you do, but why you do it.
2. Give them a compelling vision. Make sure people have something that they can resonate with, something that moves them.
3. Have a plan. Make sure that your company has clearly defined goals and that people know the strategic plan.
4. Value your values. Createvalues for your organization and makesure your decisions reflect and support those values. If there is a conflict, pursue the alternatives that are a better match with your stated values.
5. Make sure you walk the walk. Earn the right to hold others accountable to high standards by meeting them yourself. Rank may have its privileges–but never when it comes to lapses in integrity or values-based behavior.
6. Clarify your expectations. Define standards for both individual and team performance and behavior and clarify what they can expect from you in terms of tools, training, coaching and support.
7. Be dependable and deliver on your promises. Keep a record of your commitments. Check it periodically and make sure you follow through on your word.
8. Connect employees to the big picture. Your company has undoubtedly recorded its vision and goals for the year. Why not show employees exactly how their jobs advance the vision? Let them know they are an important part of the big picture.
9. Give autonomy in how people get their jobs done. The more control and influence employees have in accomplishing their specific job responsibilities, the more trust and confidence they feel their leader has in them.
10. Value people’s ideas and thoughts. Show that you value the ideas and opinions of team members, especially those that support organizational values.
11. Make them into experts. Help every single team member become an expert at something job-related. Arrange for training, coaching or certification on equipment, software, processes, etc. Then make up an Expert Directory that lists people and their special skills and distribute it throughout your organization.
12. Build trust.An overbearing leader who is constantly micromanaging is one of the fastest ways to create disengagement. Trust your employees to accomplish the work you give them without checking up every few minutes.
13. Catch people doing it right. “Catch” people doing something exceptionally well or going out of their way. Pay attention to team members who act in sync with organizational values. Then reinforce these behaviors by providing recognition or a positive comment.
14. Make them part of the message. Make sure your employees realize they are an important part of the message and that each one of them matters.
15. Make emotional intelligence part of your culture.Show that you value not only hard technical skills but also how people interact with each other. Soft skills are just as important as hard skills. Make emotional intelligence part of your culture.
16. Create a common language. Clearly define key terms and use language that effectively and efficiently communicates goals and plans. Compare your staff’s definitions of common terms and make any adjustments you need to have a common language for your communication.
17. Create a roadmap to achieve professional goals. Find out your team members’ goals and help them keep on track by creating a roadmap to get them to that next promotion or to acquire the skills they want to achieve.
18. Treat them the way you want to be treated. Implement the golden rule and tell them why it’s so important
19. Provide access to information. if you want your employees to be involved and committed, ensure that they have access to all the information they need.
20. Celebrate personal wins. When someone on your team hits their target or reaches a goal, make it a win. Allow everyone to celebrate with a little fun.
21. Give credit where credit is due. If you adopt employees’ ideas and suggestions, be sure you give them credit.
22. Involve employees in long-term projects. Get employeesfrom different units to tackle long-term projects that involve responsibilities outside of their typical scope of work. Not only will they get to know people they don’t work with on a day-to-day basis, they’ll pick up skills from one another as they work on important projects.
23. Reward the effort. Not every opportunity will equal success. Make a habit of rewarding the effort, not necessarily the results. Show that you appreciate hard work and risk-taking even in failure.
24. Give employees more responsibility, not just more tasks. Entrust your staff with an important project and allow them to take ownership of it. Make sure they know its importance to the organization’s success, and trust them to find a way to get it done.
25. Don’t shoot messengers. Avoid coming down on team members who have to inform others of problems or setbacks. Making employees feel bad for keeping people informed is not the way to enhance their engagement. Ignorance may be bliss, but the price is high.
26. Let someone else lead weekly meetings. Allowing someone else to take the lead will not only increase engagement but help people step in to their leadership.
27. Don’t let them burn out. Emphasize the importance of work and life integration. Let people know it matters to have both.Consider allowing work from home scenario, flexible hours, and other accommodations.
28. Stand beside them.Be the kind of leader who stands beside your people. Show them that you care and that you’re proud of them.
29. Encourage volunteerism. Show your commitment to community and social responsibility by giving your employees a couple of hours each month to get out of the office and participate in community service.
30. Encourage humor and laughter. Studies have shown that humor can lighten the pressures and stresses of work life. But remember, never have fun at someone else’s expense
31. Create Monday motivation. Find inspirational quotes or motivational columns on Inc. and send them to your team on Monday mornings. It’s a simple way to get people going on a day that’s typically slow to start.
32. Dispose of the cubicles. Cubicles are quickly dying out, and for good reason–most people despise them. Replace cubicles with spacious open desks that are more comfortable and promote collaboration.
33. Allow employees to move laterally within the organization. There are times when employees are still trying to figuring out their career path. If a member of your team finds something else at your company that they’re passionate about and want to pursue, create a roadmap to get them there.
34. Celebrate your team. Hold celebrations after crunch times or to mark the achievement of a difficult goal or project.
35. Build a learning culture. Create opportunities for team members to learn, grow, and expand their skills and experience. Demonstrate that you and the organization expect employees to learn and grow and develop.
36. Start a learning center. Develop your organization’s learning culture and build employee engagement by asking them to select books, videos, or programs that are related to your work. Pick a day where everyone gathers to discuss the item and what they’ve learned.
37. Groom people to be leaders. Be sure that all the training you provide (or arrange for) not only teaches the mechanics of the job, but also focuses on doing the work in value-driven ways. Let people know you are looking for people to step into their leadership and that your organization is looking for leaders.
38. Create communities of purpose. Create groups centered around a purpose-driven intiatives to make what people do at work bigger than their daily activities. Look for ways to align shared values and collaboration.
39. Be transparent in communication. Be sure that instructions and other communications are as clear as possible. Engage in transparency, honesty and concise communication.
40. Ask for feedback. Encourage employees to tell you what they think. If you’re concerned that they might feel unsafe, create an anonymous survey or a suggestion box that someone else handles.
41. Always act on feedback. Let people know you how you have considered their suggestions and what you’re doing differently as a result. While some of their wishes might be difficult to act on, send updates explaining the progress you’ve made toward addressing their concerns, Not acting on employee feedback will kill employee engagement.
42. Start a newsletter. Think of interesting topics to keep people in the loop. Instead of having the usual suspects, like Human Resources, send it, form a committee of employees who want to collaborate. Give them a chance to share what they find important.
43. Praise in public. When you learn about someone’s achievement, go over and personally congratulate them, and let others know of their achievement. It will mean a lot to that person, and it will help create a culture of where employees feel recognized.
44. Recognize each other. Praise and appreciation don’t always have to come from the boss. Encourage team members to recognize each other with a personal note, a posted note in the office, or a quick “congrats.”
45. Establish problem-solving meetings.Schedule meetings where you reveal a big problem and let employees take a crack at explaining how they would solve it. when you make employees part of the solution, they feel more engaged.
46. Switch tasks.Ask your employees which tasks they dislike doing and allow them to customize their job by switching a task with another team member. One employee’s most hated task could be another’s favorite.
47. Provide ongoing coaching and training. Coaching and mentoring shouldn’t stop after an employee’s initial onboarding process. Offer an optional weekly coaching session to discuss strategies and tactics that can help each member of the department improve in their role, and make the sessions meaningful and fun.
48. Appreciate your employees. As their boss, their leader, let people know that they are appreciated. Make sure you have multiple ways of showing appreciation.
49. Find out what your team members are passionate about. It will help you connect with them and help you understand new roles they might wish to undertake.
50. Respect people’s time. Don’t just schedule meetings for meetings’ sake. Make sure you have an agenda and stay on track. Respect people’s time and schedules.
51. Ask their opinion. It’s one of the simplest ways to let people know you value them, but also one of the most effective: ask for their opinions and ideas.
52. Keep people motivated. Hire an inspirational speaker, offer a creative workshop, or do some fun team building to improve office relationships. Employees will be grateful for the opportunity to grow and learn from experts and will come out of these experiences more motivated and focused.
53. Promote perks. Think of little perks that can make work life better. They don’t have to be expensive, just have to be meaningful.
54. Build personal bonds.It’s important for new team members to build relationships with everyone, not only their boss and direct reports. Have a group lunch or another activity that can get the new hire to get to meet everyone, and connect new people to employees who can advise them on personal issues like housing or child care.
55. Just have fun. Make your organization a fun place to work with social events. People will get to know those they don’t work with every day, building a better and a more engaging sense of community within your organization.
56. Offer healthy foods.Provide youremployees with healthy cafeteria or vending options.
57. Get your health and wellness program in order.Multiple studies show that health and wellness efforts not only yield higher productivity and engagement but also help reduce turnover and stress on the job.
58. Show that you care. Think of ways that you can demonstrate genuine care for your employees–not only will they be engaged, but they will be loyal and respect you.
59. Equip them to succeed. Create an inventory of the training, tools, and resources that team members will need to be successful. Do as much as you possibly can to help them succeed and grow.
60. Show how how they’ve made a difference.If you send recaps of company progress to your employees, don’t just tell them your customers are happy, show them. Add a glowing testimonial from your customer base, clients or nonprofit constituency to the email so your employees can see how their work impacts real people.
61. Celebrate important dates. Take time to record employee birthdays and service anniversaries on your calendar. When those dates arrive, stop by and congratulate the person or send them a note, email or card. Acknowledge life events like births, graduations, weddings, children’s or grandchildren’s accomplishments, etc.
Make the time to focus your attention on engaging your employees, because the results will proliferate on every level. You’ll have a more productive, effect and efficient team and organization.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
THE LEADERSHIP GAP
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.