From a manager’s viewpoint, there’s nothing better than overseeing employees who are motivated, productive, and positive. As many bosses know, employee disengagement is a major issue – with many people in the workforce operating on autopilot as they sleepwalk through their 9-5.
Beneath a lack of employee engagement may lie much deeper issues – which is why it’s so essential for you, as the manager, to prevent a disengaged working culture before it really affects the company’s financial prospects. By heeding the following tips, you’ll be well on your way to leading an engaged workforce every day.
Some employees require more variety and change in their work lives than others. For these workers, you must find adequate opportunities for development. You can do this by firstly establishing open lines of communication and noting what your employees want and need. Secondly, you will need to follow through with external training programmes or by seeking opportunities for employee development within the company.
You must forge positive, one-on-one ties with each of your employees, as well as boost productivity and energy levels by fostering a supportive, motivated group ethos. So, how can you effectively team-build without forcing your employees into too many social activities?
Start by planning cross-office seminars or team-building events within working hours, and outside of the office. It’s always good to change up the normal work atmosphere for one of these events by hiring an interesting nearby venue such as a gallery or art space and having everybody work together in a fresh, inspiring environment. Especially if you run a remote company, getting all your staff in one place – at least occasionally – is very important for team-building.
Recognise and reward
Employees often leave workplaces because they feel undervalued and overlooked. Carefully avoid giving your workers this impression by taking the time to notice and reward them when they excel. Have they secured a major partner? Won over customers with a particular campaign? Hit all their major deadlines for the past year? Then let them know!
This “reward” doesn’t have to be extravagant. Shouting your employee a nice lunch out or gifting them tickets to a local theatre performance can be lovely gestures – but airing their achievements to the wider company can be the best reward of all. Never underestimate the power of verbal encouragement.
Bring the financial ladder into view
The above tip addresses smaller wins that your employees achieve along the way. However, both you and your employees likely have larger financial incentives in mind to drive engagement. Employees expect raises and promotions to stay on the job, and to stay engaged while they are under your management.
This means you must have a comprehensive discussion before hiring each of your employees, regarding their expectations for pay going forward, and your realistic predictions as to what the company will be able to provide them in the long-term. These can be tough conversations but having them before any contracts are signed will ensure that you secure employees who are committed to engaged work for the foreseeable future.
Create venues for feedback
Management is not just a top-down process. To be an effective boss, you must foster a culture of mutual exchange between you and your employees. Do your workers seem unenthusiastic about some of your processes? Could you add something to your managerial approach that would better facilitate employee engagement?
You must find answers to these questions. The trick is to create the kinds of personable relationships – see Tip 1 – that will allow your workers to freely air their thoughts, and to create anonymous survey-box mechanisms that will help you get written feedback from your employees.