EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

Keys to Driving Employee Engagement and Loyalty 

By Moises Solis and Scott Creger

A CreateINterest Now Series

 

 

Todays workforce is dealing with constant change. Some employees find themselves working in a remote environment or part of a corporate climate that is unfamiliar. One of the key factors to running a successful business and staying one step ahead of the competition is knowing how to engage employees.  When employees are engaged, the organization’s atmosphere improves and employees feel like part of the team and in turn, work together to help lead the business to successful outcomes.  Employees who take pride in their job and work with purpose produce better results.

 

An engaged employee is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work so they take positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests. Measuring employee engagement indicates how committed they are to the business and its success. Prior to analyzing their engagement its important to ask these questions:

  • Is the organizational mission and vision clear?
  • Do the employees understand the goals?
  • Is there a clear link between the employee’s role and company objectives?
  • Is leadership in the organization present and able to motivate the workforce?
  • Are the managers equipped with the skills needed to lead the team to success?

 

Employee engagement is considered to be one of the most important drivers of loyalty and productivity. Even during an economic downturn or a global pandemic, employee engagement will anchor the sense of belonging to professional growth and performance.  

Below are some keys to driving employee loyalty and engagement:

  • Connect employees to their performance results by setting clear expectations-  

It is essential that leaders set the expectations and make sure employees understand the consequences for good and bad performance.  Employee must know what to do and how to do it. By setting clear SMART goals and KPIs from day one employees can better plan and measure their progress. Specific performance expectations can offer them more confidence in what they’re doing. When a team member is unsure of what to do, or how to handle a situation, productivity can come to a grinding halt. It is important to provide employees with a strong foundation for the tasks ahead to raise the level of engagement.

  • Communicate the importance of their role in the organization’s bigger picture- 

Connecting employee responsibilities to the larger mission and vision gives employees a vested interest in the whether the business does well.  Finding a purpose in their role is infectious, and it brings teams together. To drive engagement organizational leaders should plan to communicate the immediate and long term goals of the organization and create a transparent atmosphere.  Understanding how individual tasks play into the company’s objectives help employees to build purpose.  

  • Inspire personal commitment through coaching- The tone in an organization is set by leadership from the beginning.  A good way for leaders to achieve a positive tone is to be more than a boss; but also be a coach. Leaders inspire organizational commitment by providing words of encouragement and a willingness to help as a concern for their state of mind. Many successful employees who’ve been praised for outstanding accomplishments have had a good coach or mentor standing behind them.
  • Train and develop employees to improve skill and knowledge- 

Linking learning and career development to employee interests and aspirations will ensure that they remain loyal and motivated to do their job to the best of their ability. Providing personal growth opportunities will ensure employees are constantly learning new skills and perfecting ones they already have. This results in them finding new and better ways to do their job and improve processes. An organization’s promise of employee growth should include plans for their career development and promotional opportunities. It is essential to involve the employee in their development map so that you have more buy-in and goals that the employee values. 

  • Provide recognition for hard work and celebrate wins-

It is important for leaders to set up learning markers and recognize employees who successfully reach them.  A manager providing recognition, or “Vitamin R”, and acknowledging a job well done is an essential motivator when developing employee engagement best practices. As a leader, it is important to manage the team’s “emotional bank account”. As with any employee’s job, there will be “withdraws”. It is important to balance the “emotional bank account” with “deposits” of positive recognition and celebrate positive results.  It’s also good to understand what form of recognition works best for the team. Recognition helps to foster positive attitudes and healthy behavior.

  • Solicit and act on employee feedback: Listening to your employees to determine what areas of the organization need improvement is an important part of keeping the employees engaged. Giving the staff a voice is vital in making them feel valued. If they know that management cares, and hears their concerns, they will continue to maintain a high level of engagement instead of becoming despondent and disengaged.  Open communication drives engagement and enabling employees to communicate feedback and ideas is a great way to integrate fresh perspectives into the organization.  People are more likely to support what they help create. 

 

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