This blog was originally posted on our Forbes | Coaches Council webpage! Check it out here.
Employee engagement is hard to do right.
Before the founding of my company, I helped move a department from underperforming to being in the 99th percentile in employee engagement scores. My company did this by making supplementary structural changes and practicing the following four tips. We also conducted a pay-equity audit, implemented a bonus program to align goals, and added educational opportunities to upskill employees.
Let’s say you do all these things right, but engagement is still low. What do you do now?
Defining Employee Engagement
Let’s take a moment to define what it means to be an engaged employee.
An engaged employee:
• Is dedicated,
• Embraces the vision of the organization,
• Is passionate about the quality of their work,
• Shows up to work with a great attitude and
• Invests in the company by providing feedback to the organization about how their role or operations can be improved.
How Engagement Helps The Company
Engaged employees naturally do more to contribute to the success of the company.
In essence, engaged employees invest extra time, effort, and energy into the organization. We want engaged employees, but most organizations only pay their workers to perform their roles. Period. Full stop. It’s no wonder many employees are quietly quitting—drawing the line at doing only what they are paid to do.
While your organization may not have the ability or structure to compensate highly engaged employees differently…
Here are four tips you can use to increase engagement without spending a dime.
1. Re-recruit your top performers. As leaders, we tend to focus on fixing problems with low performers. However, your top performers are your most important asset. You should be spending most of your time re-recruiting them. If you don’t, other organizations will.
2. Get to know your employees! Do unto your employees as you want them to do unto the organization. Learn about their interests and goals, their families and their hobbies. Invest your time into understanding the motivations and preferences that make them rockstars in their roles, and help them get even better.
3. Empower your employees to learn and be mobile. Just as we want our employees to provide us with feedback on how the company can improve, we need to do the same for them. Are there areas of the business they’re interested in learning about? Is a new project starting up that will give them visibility into an area they have not yet mastered? Many employees view lateral moves that provide them with experience as valuable career growth.
4. Find the ‘invisible glue’ and thank them. In the many organizations my company works with, we discover individuals whose jobs and functions are not in human resources (HR), but they make a huge difference in how new employees perceive the company. They quietly welcome new team members, providing them with a lifeline for questions you don’t want to ask your boss or HR. These individuals offer information about the social norms of the organization—information that’s not written in any handbooks. They help new team members feel like they belong. Find this person (or people) in your organization.
Their work behind the process of the HR department is crucial to the success of your organization. Thank them for their engagement and commitment to your organization.
Many managers may feel like…
they are already too overwhelmed to invest time and energy into following these tips. Following the Pareto principle, 80% of your “people problems” come from 20% of your low-performing employees. If you flip the script and spend the time and energy on your high performers, you will find both the time and joy to do your actual job.
Want more blogs like this? Check out our last blog on employee engagement, Show Some Love to Your Virtual Employees by Megan Chavez!