Engaged employees create better performance for companies, even to the bottom line. But there is a problem, as there is a lot of leadership derailment going on in organizations today.
Leaders are lacking the skills they need to build a high-performing team, such as communication skills, motivating skills, problem-solving skills, team-building skills, decision-making skills. As a result of that, there is the issue. In fact, some research says 50% of managers are failing in these kinds of things, others say 67%. Either way you look at it, it’s a big problem. But, it’s also an opportunity for you as a manager that if you do a better job, you can make a difference with your team in your organization with your customers.
Now various research reports on employee engagement shows that only 13% of employees are engaged worldwide. In the U.S. it’s 30%. So, there is a gap, but it’s also an opportunity if you can reverse those numbers you can impact results. There isn’t any secret that needs to be done
Let’s share with you some thoughts about how to increase employee engagement, but before that let’s be clear what employee engagement isn’t about:
- An annual survey
- Just an action plan
If a company is looking for a long-term, effective outcome, first it has to resolve the issue by starting with the basics. See below 5 tips that can help address the matter of employee engagement.
Hire the Right Resource
To be honest, hiring the wrong resource will cost you both time and money. A company’s resources should have relevant skills, experience and qualifications for the job. They should also be the right people on a personal level. So, your priority should be to build a relevant, dynamic team by adding the right resource to it.
Develop Manager Skills
More than 65% of managers say their employers offer a professional development program, but at the same time only 8% of them agree that the performance reviews they receive encourage them to improve. So, one of the significant opportunities for leaders today is to take their time to review who is leading their teams, what their pipeline for the team looks like, and what their plan is to develop those leaders’ skills to improve engagement. If leaders take time to listen, they can have honest discussions with their managers about development alternatives.
Show Your Employees Where They Fit in Your Business Strategy
Many often employees can become disengaged if they feel like just another cog in the wheel. Employees are your biggest assets and without them, you wouldn’t have the business to run. So, it’s important that your employees know where they fit in the grand scheme of things. You would better show them how essential they are to your business operations. That means you need to give them a clear link between their roles and your strategy.
Employees need to be empowered to make decisions close to action. It will enable them to act and react depending on the needs of the moment. But, the scenario is, fewer than four in 10 managers strongly say that they have power to make decisions on their own. In other cases, employees are also often left discouraged when a manager shifts blame to a policy. Employees lose faith in that manager’s leadership and can become disengaged. That means leadership teams need to carve out and educate managers on core philosophies and beliefs and empower them to act within those parameters.
Ensure Managers are Approachable
Employees may not be proactive to do a good job if they feel their managers aren’t approachable. Your organization’s leaders should be friendly and open to new ideas and feedback. You shouldn’t dismiss an employee’s suggestion outright that the employee thinks it can improve something in your organization. If they need help to improve certain leadership development skills, help them with their goal.
Employees are not like a machine. They do also require some kind of flexibility so they can maintain a Work-Life balance and that also does not conflict with their working days. Many organizations are warming up to the idea of offering flexibility to their staff. It can significantly increase employee engagement.
Research says that over 90 percent of employees are satisfied with their professional development opportunities compared to only 29% of actively disengaged employees. If you are not helping them to develop their skills, give a feel of being valued, then forget to increase employee engagement, let alone drive results.
Experts at Promise Training & Consultancy say that companies should first focus on engaging and developing their managers to help the team succeed and that is possible only when you have a team of engagement employees.