If you pull back a bit, take a minute to think of the critical elements that are common among successful companies, you will, of course discover many. But one you’ll most likely recognize as being of utmost importance is employee engagement.
An engaged workforce who has quality relationship with its superiors and co employees tend to perform with better productivity.
What Research Shows
In Australia, while boasting to have one of the highest employee engagement figures of 24% as per World Gallup’s State of the workplace Report, 2013, there is still a huge 60% who are not engaged and 16 % who are actively disengaged. For reference, these types of workers may be described as ;
Engaged – those displaying a passion for their work, a closely, dearly-held connection to their company and a tendency to drive innovations.
Not engaged – are seen as “the walking dead” just going through the motions of their work, putting in the hours but with neither energy nor enthusiasm.
Actively disengaged – they’re not just unhappy at work, they make their unhappiness seen and felt, oftentimes undermining the accomplishments of their engaged co-workers.
It makes practical sense to conclude that the last two groups can actually mean that a company which has them is not drawing their fullest potential and in fact may be leading to lost opportunities and business. The figures may vary but management experts are of the opinion these losses can run to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Employee engagement continues to be a hot subject among managers. A lot continues to talk. The smart ones, aware of the huge losses low productivity can cause companies, have begun to do something about it. Foremost of these involves creating a company culture that encourages friendship among co-workers and developing supportive and trusting relationships.
Start the Ball Rolling
If you own a business or are one of your company’s key managers, you may want to adopt the following tips that have been proven to help employees be engaged and happy at work :
- Define and share your vision with your employees. Let it serve as everybody’s roadmap with all its twists and turns. This will have everybody moving in the same direction.
- Provide them with what they need. Instead of assuming they have all the tools, training and support from immediate superiors, go talk to them in person and take a few minutes to find out.
- Communicate clearly and often. You can take advantage of regular meetings, memos, and workshops to present your vision. Ask questions. If they can’t get it, rehash and reformat the way you’re communicating.
- Coach and lead for success and practice spur-of-the-moment acts of kindness.
Positive feedback is a terrific motivator, especially when you say “thank you” for a task well-done. So is negative feedback when expressed in an objective, constructive way.
- Get everybody engaged (…and we’re not talking about getting into the dating game or romantic match-pairings here). Work out a way to have every employee engaged and participating in the planning and decision making. This way they’ll have a sense of ownership of the project and make sure it succeeds.
- Respect and create trust. Act fairly. Don’t make like a henchman of the ancient Roman ships fast-beating the drums to set the pace of the slave rowers.
Remember, at the end of the day, the more engaged and happier your employees are, the likelier it is for your company to succeed.