Lack of engagement in the workplace is a full-blown phenomenon, with only 36% of employees reporting being engaged in their jobs. For people with a vested interest in the success of an organization, this should be scary news. After all, unengaged employees show up later to work, make more mistakes, put less effort into their tasks, and are much more likely to quit. Not exactly the kind of employee you want around your office, right?
But employee engagement is just as much on an organization’s leaders and company culture as it is on the employees themselves. After all, even the most enthusiastic and qualified employees can become unengaged if they work in an office where the culture brings them down. So how do you avoid this pitfall and, instead, lift your employees up, boosting their engagement and therefore their productivity, longevity, and loyalty?
Here are three simple ways that leadership in a business can improve employee engagement, all without making an outsize investment of time or services.
#1) Be Transparent
In order to truly commit to doing the best they can on the job, employees need to know why they’re doing what they’re doing. It’s not enough simply to give them orders and assume they will follow. As a leader, it’s your job to share the strategic vision of what your team members are doing.
This way, employees understand what goals they’re working towards. They recognize the importance and value of their work, time, and effort. They understand the impact it will have if they slack off and, conversely, toward what they will be contributing if they give their work their best effort.
By being transparent about your company and team’s mission, goals, and objectives, you create the opportunity for employee buy-in, a crucial element of employee engagement.
#2) Offer Opportunities for Growth
If it’s motivating to understand how one’s work helps the organization achieve its goals, it’s only even more impactful when an employee has the sense that working hard will help their own growth and development. Nothing is more demotivating than being stagnant and stuck, never able to step up to a challenge or try something new.
That’s why, as a leader, it’s recommended to trust your employees enough to give them tasks that challenge them, offering more responsibility and room to really prove themselves. This way, they have something to look forward to, as well as the feeling that their leadership believes in them and sees a future for them growing within the company.
#3) Recognize and Reward
Ideally, when you give your employees challenges and opportunities to prove themselves, they will perform up to or even exceed your expectations. And then what? Do you just pat yourself on the back for making the right decision in trusting your employee and move on?
Of course not. If you want to keep your employees engaged, it’s important to always recognize their efforts. Because while an internal sense of a job well done is certainly heartwarming, it doesn’t even compare to the feeling you get when your boss recognizes and acknowledges your hard work.
So, if you want to really boost engagement more, consider creating a reward program that incentivizes employees to show up to work engaged and do their best on the job. Rewards can be monetary, like gift cards, bonuses, and promotions, or even as simple as certificates or shout-outs in front of the team, department, or company. The idea is that feeling appreciated leads to employees being more productive and committed.
The Bottom Line
As a leader, you have endless opportunities to make a difference in your company’s success by committing yourself to improving the engagement of the employees under you. By taking steps as simple as the three we’ve listed above, you can genuinely impact how productive, focused, and committed employees are, helping to make your team and organization more efficient and effective. Beyond that, the effort to improve employee engagement will also improve retention, helping your company to avoid the costs of high employee turnover.
In short? Employee engagement pays off. So why not implement these three strategies today?