Employee engagement is essential to any successful organization. When employees are engaged, they aren’t just doing the work; they’re invested in the organization and are evangelists for its mission.
Mission-driven employees put in discretionary effort. They aren’t required to do it, but they want to. And they’re the ones who drive business results. So, how do leaders increase employee engagement in the workplace to achieve those business results? Here are five ways to get started!
Be Clear About The Mission & Keep It In Sight
Employees can’t get behind a mission they don’t know or understand. It’s important for leadership to be transparent about the company mission and to communicate it in a way that resonates with employees. That communication needs to happen often, too.
But it’s not enough just to have a company mission that employees can easily identify. They need to also feel as though their work directly impacts the success or failure of that mission.
When establishing business goals, think about the mission itself and tie each goal to that mission. Within each goal, there will be milestones and deliverables, all of which will need to support the mission and drive it forward. If a task doesn’t impact a business goal, then it may be time to rethink whether it’s necessary to the success of a project or initiative.
Engaged employees don’t waste time with unnecessary assignments. Their main objective is to drive the company mission forward. Anything that gets in the way of that progress will simply become a force of disengagement.
Reinforce Your Culture & Values
Every company has a culture, even if it isn’t clearly defined. For newer companies, culture is just beginning to form, while older companies may be looking to either strengthen their culture or change it altogether. No matter where a company is in its cultural development, that culture needs to be advertised and reinforced.
A strong company culture is built on strong values, and the right hires will share those same values. When companies take the time to openly communicate about and reinforce their culture, employees will feel a greater sense of belonging.
They will not only be motivated by their environment, but will also become more engaged in the work they’re doing. Identify top performers who live by those cultural values and reward them. They will become evangelists and help motivate others who aren’t yet on the path of engagement.
Provide Consistent Feedback
Highly engaged employees are that way because they’re self-aware and mission-driven. Whether feedback is given to prevent a mistake or to improve overall performance, it needs to be timely, specific, and actionable. The sooner employees know they need to improve and how to do it, the more likely they are to become motivated.
Creating milestones for employees and regular check-ins can keep them on track and motivate them to keep going. Once they’re confident and motivated, they’ll be on their path to engagement.
Ask for feedback — And Act On It
Good leaders don’t just provide feedback. They also ask for it. When employers are truly invested towards increasing employee engagement, they need to make sure they have a real pulse on how their employees feel.
At the organizational level, administering an employee experience survey will give companies a benchmark for engagement. While there are numerous software solutions available, companies can use free or inexpensive survey providers to start.
Ask specific questions, such as:
● Do you receive regular feedback from your manager?
● Do you understand the company business goals?
● Are you excited about the work you do?
● Are you appropriately recognized for your work?
Employers can also ask demographic questions like which department an employee works in or, if a large enough team, under which manager they’re working. This will give leadership insights into what’s working, where employees are most engaged, and where they could stand to make the most improvements.
But no matter how much feedback companies gather, the data is useless if it isn’t put into action. While it’s motivating for employees to feel their opinion matters, what boosts engagement is acting on that feedback. The more engaged employers are with their employees, the more engaged employees will be in their work.
Put Employees First
The fastest way to boost employee engagement is to make the employee experience a priority. That means having employees’ best interests in mind every step of the way. A business is only as good as the people who work for it, and that’s because engaged employees are evangelists for their company’s products or services.
Without an engaged workforce, business goals won’t easily be achieved. Create an environment that values employees by providing ample opportunities for learning and development, creative career pathing, robust benefits, and rewards and recognition.
Engagement Doesn’t Happen Overnight
There are steps employers can take immediately to boost engagement among their employees. Even if it’s just one best practice at a time, employees will begin to notice the effort being put in, and will respond in kind. Remember: Engaged employees are happy, productive employees. And that’s truly the secret to business success!