Engaged employees voluntarily invest extra time, effort and initiative to contribute to business success. They feel a sense of purpose toward their role, and bring enthusiasm, passion and energy to the work they do. As well as being more motivated, committed and loyal, engaged workers are typically higher performers and produce better results for both the customer and the company. For employee engagement initiatives to be successful, they must be tailored to the unique needs and motivations of each individual. Here are five key ways that managers can help boost the engagement of their employees:
Competent, passionate and hands-on leadership is critical to employee engagement. Showing a genuine interest in your employees and investing time in understanding their needs and aspirations will help send the message that their contribution is valued. Check-in with them regularly to find out how their experience in the workplace can be improved. Find out what motivates them and how they define success so you can create a rewarding environment in which they can thrive.
Growth and opportunity
Engaged employees are given the opportunity to adequately use their skills, and are encouraged to stretch those skills in order to progress. Talk to your employees about their career plan. Does their current role make full use of their strengths and abilities? Is their career moving in the direction they desire? Are there new or interesting projects they can work on to expand their skill set? Discuss the training and development opportunities that can help them advance within the company, and provide clear and consistent feedback on how they can improve their performance.
Engaged employees believe that the work they are doing is important and has value. They believe they are contributing to something meaningful and take pride in the results of their efforts. As a manager, you should frequently reinforce the importance of your employees’ roles. Help them to see the direct connection between their activities and the company’s success. Set goals and challenge your employees to meet them in order to promote a sense of purpose. Grant them the autonomy to improve the way things are done, and involve them in decisions to help them feel a strong sense of ownership over the direction of the company.
Recognition and rewards
For employees to be motivated to give their best, they need to know their efforts will be recognised and rewarded. Regularly thanking them for their efforts demonstrates your awareness of their hard work and provides encouragement for them to boost their performance. Make the time to celebrate accomplishments, rewarding and recognising employees in ways that are meaningful to them. Whilst competitive pay and good benefits are key motivating factors, providing incentives for higher performance gives employees something extra to strive for.
Companies that reap the benefits of an engaged workforce understand that people are their greatest asset. Find out the responsibilities of your employees and consider initiatives that enable them to balance work and home life more easily. Encourage employees to balance hard work with socialising and fun. Promote the sharing of ideas, suggestions and improvements. A work environment in which people feel valued and heard and where they experience a sense of camaraderie is critical to employee engagement.
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