In our ever-changing world, employee engagement continues to be a well-explored topic. And with the number of Millennials in the workplace increasing daily, the workplace and its employees have the potential to be a dynamic duo. Regardless of the type of staff you have, there are most assuredly numerous ways in which owners and managers can help their businesses increase employee engagement for the betterment of all concerned.
Management must intentionally build a collaborative community of trust, engagement and productivity within their organizations. But how? Here are 10 ideas for your consideration:
1. Create and communicate a deeper understanding of company goals and objectives.
When both managers and employees understand the overall financial picture of the company and what is needed to grow the company, they can promote the overall products and services of the company with a fresh, problem-solving approach in their specific job and department. Many employees will develop a strong sense of ownership as they work with a higher purpose in mind.
2. Make each of your employees feel highly valued and respected.
Don’t be standoffish or rude, but treat your staff like family. Engage in normal, everyday conversation with them. Acknowledge their accomplishments. Remember to say thank you often. When the company does well, share the fruits of labor with your employees.
3. Build employee satisfaction by valuing their input and fresh ideas.
Realize individual potential. Ask good questions, listen well, and interact with your staff often. Do you know that Millennials tend to be effective problem solvers, critical thinkers and decision makers – all because of the giant strides in information technology? Utilize their exposure to technology and remember to promote a collaborative culture!
4. Don’t waste your staff’s valuable time in meetings that aren’t necessary or in which they make no contribution.
During staff meetings, keep it focused on 2 to 3 priority items and include only the people who must be there to move the agenda forward. If a quick stand-up meeting can accomplish your goal, consider it the preferred meeting option. If you have a sit-down meeting, do not allow cell phones or laptops to be on/open. As you’ve often heard it said, the rules of presentation are, “Be brief, be bright, and be gone.”
5. Give voice to vacation time and make it a requirement.
Both long and short vacations have 3 impressive restorative qualities to them:
1) Good for the brain and increasing productivity.
2) Great for the body and relieving stress.
3) Employees tend to be more motivated and creative upon their return.
6. See what motivates your employees.
Regarding motivations, did you know that people have certain motivators, which if plugged in properly within a work environment, will cause them to engage more naturally and happily, generally resulting in a love of their job and a natural increase in productivity?
To share a few examples . . .
- Socially-motivated individuals will have a natural concern for people and will typically shine in a customer-service role. They will find satisfaction in talking with clients and meeting their needs.
- A utilitarian-motivated person will strive to make the most out of their time and resources. S/he will also excel at connecting customers with the best resources and solutions available. They often make great salespeople.
- Finally, a theoretically-motivated employee will thrive on solving problems and discovering truth. S/he will enjoy taking knowledge gleaned over time and sharing it with others - ideal prospects for teaching, training, coaching, etc.
7. Care about what your employees really want and need during the holidays and offer flexibility when possible.
During the holidays, be as understanding and as flexible as possible to those who are in the office working rather than vacationing or enjoying family time. Most people in this world appreciate employers’ awareness and concern with work-life balance.
Here are a few ways a manager might offer flexibility to their staff during holidays before leaving to enjoy their own time off:
- Reduce staff on light work days. Why require 5 to be there if 2 can do the job? Offer additional paid time off or even the opportunity to miss work without pay.
- Why not allow the employee(s) to bring their spouse or child to work with them on super slow days? I'm sure this would be more appropriate for smaller businesses, but could work for others too, if well planned.
- Make down-time or regular office time fun. Grant permission for an in-house afternoon movie and a few party snacks. Or if the nature of your business permits flexibility in regards to dress code, allow your employees to dress more casually on holidays.
- Allow remote opportunities, even if it’s just for an afternoon. If an Excel project can be completed from home, provide that option.
Just be sure to give all employees equal opportunity and keep the managers accountable in this respect.
8. Discover how satisfied your current employees are.
Why wait for an “exit interview” to discover valuable employee satisfaction information? Survey your current employees (without negative consequence) regarding how they want to be managed by their supervisors, what’s working and what’s not, what they find to be a truly motivating factor for them in the workplace, and what their primary goals are for the next year or two.
To retain your current staff, know what they like, desire, and long for in the development of their career with your company. Try to ascertain these tidbits of information outside the realm of yearly evaluations. Then bring these insights to the table during evaluations, but do your homework first so that you know how to advise and encourage them in their position (and future) with the company. You do your part and inspire them to do theirs as well, to the benefit of all.
9. Employee engagement can be difficult to manage/promote once an employee is hired.
To successfully hire a strong, engaged, even ideal candidate for a specific job on the front end, consider the useful tools of behavioral analysis and predictive analytics. TTI Success Insights® assessments, subsequent reports and consultant’s advice on proper interpretation of these reports can make a tremendous difference in the revolving door some businesses struggle to rid themselves of. TTISI® offers businesses the opportunity to reduce the number of bad hiring decisions by assisting with the search and retention of great talent, properly matching strong candidates to the right job, and easily identifying top performers based on unbiased assessments and reporting tools.
10. Invest in TTISI® behavioral assessment reports for great hiring insights & management tips.
As stated above, TTI Success Insights®' behavioral assessments provide unbiased insight into what type of person is needed to be a success in a certain job. According to their website, this includes consideration of the following: the knowledge a person needs, the hard skills vital to the job, personal attributes required to drive success, rewards for superior performance, behavior necessary to perform at peak level, and intrinsic motivators.
The Bottom Line
Employees leave when they are unhappy, and we all know that replacing an employee is costly. So is training someone new. Maybe the person was a bad hire from the beginning, but maybe you simply had the person in the wrong position. Maybe you didn’t respect them enough to value their opinions. Perhaps they would have excelled in an auditor role but failed in the accounts payable position. Or could it be that the company has developed a revolving door due to outdated management practices? Perhaps it is time to try some of the recommendations mentioned above.
Consider contacting Brannon Professionals, a professional placement and consulting firm in the Memphis area, for assistance with your employer-employee management skills and hiring/retention needs. We utilize TTISI® assessment tools often, and our staff would be happy to work with you and your company on these matters and more. Contact us today at 662-349-9194 or 901-759-9622 for assessment options, pricing, consultation, or other questions.