In 2019, the CONNECT2Lead Blog focused heavily on employee engagement. It's the key to success in any business initiative, so it deserved all that attention! As we wrap up the year, we're bringing you guest posts from experts in HR and related fields to share what they're saying about employee engagement, too.
Original post by Richard A. Sherwood
It’s not a mystery that employee engagement continues to decline. The Gallup organization indicates that nearly 70 percent of employees are actively disengaged. With less than 30% of workers in the United States engaged with their current job it is important for the HR professional, working with the leadership team to implement programs and a culture that encourages engagement. As a manger, you want hard-working employees who are actively engaged with the work they do. This will make your job easier and more rewarding for both you and your team. The following five ideas can assist you in adopting a culture of engagement. If you implement these strategic concepts you can create a culture of engagement:
Focus On Employee Development
There are many reasons job applicants accept a new position such as additional compensation or a better benefits program, a more progressive management or a new industry; however, many applicants accept a new position because they want to advance their career. One Gallup poll found that 87% of millennials (and 69% of non-millennials) view employee development as important in their position. Employees want to enhance their skills and continue to be challenged by new tasks. As an HR professional you can focus on employee development in several ways such as adding new duties to the employee’s position to prevent boredom, allow room for growth in the position, or offer a job rotation program so employees can expand their skills and knowledge.
Share the Company Goals with All
To run a successful company, you need a business plan with a list of goals you want to accomplish. To engage employees, you need to involve them in reaching business goals. You should set annual, semi-annual, quarterly, and monthly goals so employees have something to work toward. Reaching specific goals is something that encourages employee engagement. Employees want to know how their position fits in with the other positions in the company and they want to learn how their work affects the business as a whole. You can set general company goals as well as goals within each department. That way, each employee knows how their work is impacting the departmental and overall success of the business.
Create a Culture of Development
If an employee doesn’t have a clear understanding of their duties and responsibilities, they won’t be as engaged as you would like them to be. Instead, they’ll be frustrated and not be as productive which can lead to disengagement. Employees who can master their workload typically take more pride in what they do. Workers who are eager to meet their goals are engaged with the company. Providing technical and management development training to both new and seasoned employees is one of the most important steps you as an HR professional can promote to ensure employees are engaged at work. With a successful training program, employees will learn how to effectively do their job and be as productive as possible. For many employees, training is also the time when they bond with co-workers and develop a connection to the company. Studies have also shown that the more friends employees have at work, the more engaged they are at work. A study by TINYpulse, Inc. found that only 28% of employees with no work friends were engaged, versus 69% with 25 or more friends. Training encourages relationships among employees which in turn improves engagement and productivity.
Acknowledge and Recognize Employees
Employees don’t automatically become engaged when you give them more praise, thanks, or any other types of acknowledgment; however, employees can quickly become disengaged if they feel like they’re invisible. It is important for employees to know their co-workers and develop friendships with them. But it’s also important to develop relationships that value respect and professionalism between employer and employee. Whe the employee puts in extra effort, acknowledge them. Management should acknowledge employees for their hard work and according to Gallup, Inc. those employees who aren’t recognized are twice as likely to quit.
Let Employees Do Their Job - Don’t Micro-manage Them
If employees are told exactly what to do and how to do it, they won’t improve and their ability to perform on the job will suffer. Managers that micromanaging staff can be damaging to your company. According to Forbes, Inc. micromanaging resulted in 68% of employees saying their morale was dampened and 55% said that it led to a decrease in productivity. Low morale leads to actively disengaged workers. Progressive managers allow their employees to be creative, develop new ways of approaching a task and come up with their own ideas.