You may think engaged employees should automatically care about your company’s goals but guess what? They don’t! Unless they’re a volunteer worker, you can safely assume your staff have their own agenda. People want financial security and to climb the career ladder. Job satisfaction is important but often not the top priority. And being engaged at work doesn’t guarantee being content. If you really want your employees on board, engaged and motivated, then find out what makes them tick.
It’s all too common for managers to micromanage their team to try and force engagement. What the majority of workers want is to be left alone to get on with things. Provide them with the right tools and space, plus a meaty project with potential, then step back and see what happens. Ensure they know how to get support if they need it. It’ll become clear pretty quickly if they’re engaged or not. If not, then is the time for a bit of micromanaging.
Good energy levels are crucial to maintain a happy, engaged member of staff. Unfortunately, they can drop severely when an employee is working too many hours or under too much pressure. So how can you help them maintain energy levels?
- Use their strengths – don’t have employees wasting valuable energy on tasks that aren’t necessary or aren’t in their field of expertise. People who aren’t burnt out are more likely to be engaged employees.
- Harmonise their environment – uneasy working relationships create stress and sap energy levels, so see if there’s a way to improve the situation through communication or tweaking the teams.
- Encourage innovation – being curious and promoting an entrepreneurial mindset can really motivate and create opportunities – both for the individual and the organisation. Google Sprint is an interesting concept for innovation.
- Set realistic goals – don’t let the drive for increased net profits mean you’re setting unrealistic goals. Make sure your workers believe the objectives are attainable.
Continuing Professional Development
No one likes the idea of a dead-end job. Even if it’s your dream role initially, you’d hope to expand your remit at some point. If you want to keep your employees engaged and contented, they need to feel valued. Offering CPD training on a regular basis will do this. Even if it means staff move on because of their improved skills and knowledge, your company will still benefit in the long run. Employees that are working towards a career goal should be fully engaged and motivated, meaning productivity should exceed expectations. Of course you may not have the specific content to be able to offer the required training for every individual. Fortunately there are e-learning companies who can produce engaging and effective bespoke content on any area of expertise.
As the majority of your workforce will probably be Millennials, it’s important to communicate via channels they use and can relate to. Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are their preferred method of receiving and sharing information, rather than the typical company email. Pinterest is a great way for sharing visual information such as infographics and new product information. It’s useful to find out which employees are real ‘movers and shakers’ on social media. Who has loads of followers and connections? LinkedIn and Twitter are great marketing outlets, so offer your social media performers an incentive to share company content. Newsletters should be inviting; use images, video and audio as well as text. Interactive elements such as surveys will get readers engaging with the content. If this sounds too much work, why not use a company like MailChimp?
If it’s a fact that profits increase when employees are engaged (as B&Q claim), then it makes sense to treat your workforce as assets. Discover their individual needs and don’t just offer support – demonstrate it. This strategy should not only keep your employees engaged but also happy, motivated and productive.