How important does your leadership team view employee engagement? What effort are they making to contribute towards this important function? Employee engagement can be a complex topic. Leaders often leave this to human resources to handle since it’s connected to employee performance and productivity.
A workplace study conducted by Dale Carnegie in May of 2018 indicates that while leaders believe employee engagement is an important part of a thriving corporate environment, less than one-quarter of leaders are making employee engagement a priority. This approach is counterproductive. Employee engagement is a direct side-effect of good leadership. It’s time for leaders to take charge of employee engagement and its business outcomes.
How involved should leaders be? What can they do?
If leaders want to impact employee engagement, it is actually very easy to do so. The first goal is to connect with the people who work for the company. This can be as simple as walking around the office and saying “hello”, giving employees a connection and the opportunity to chat about anything on their mind.
It can be good to observe the goings-on of the business and to get a feel for the daily experience of employees. At the same time, employees appreciate the visibility of leadership and the personal attention — which encourages them that they work for a leader who is so accessible. This lifts the morale and engagement overall.
Leaders can also meet with supervisors on a regular basis to find out what concerns employees may have. Some of these concerns may be tied to changes in the company, which can be unsettling.
For example, the loss of a major client can easily create disengagement in employees who then start looking for another job. Addressing change starts with allowing employees to express their worries to immediate supervisors, and then coming up with ways to reassure employees their jobs will not be cut.
Focus on what matters the most. If your organization is driven by new sales, you cannot expect to push employees without some type of incentive. Think about what it will take for employees to find satisfaction for the hard work they do. A cash bonus? Some kind of recognition in front of peers? What matters to employees can vary from one person to the next. As a leader, always be thinking about how you will improve engagement by focusing on people ahead of profits.
Demonstrate engagement in every daily action. It’s one thing to expect it from subordinates; it’s another to demonstrate it on a regular basis. People model their own behaviors after leadership. If a leader is excited about a particular idea and emphasizes this, then others follow suit.
Get the organization on the same level of engagement by hosting company-wide staff meetings at least once a month and demonstrating that leadership supports the creativity and innovation of every member of the team. Focus on the goal to build a company filled with engaged and fulfilled people.
Using employee engagement technology for better leadership
In order to keep an eye on employee engagement, leaders can utilize technology that gives them an overview anytime. Real time employee engagements provide a glimpse of where things stand during any change, after pep talks, during stressful campaigns, and more.
Leaders can plan activities or rewards ahead of projected periods of low engagement. Reports show the results before, during and after to determine if this is something that should be used on a regular basis. This is essentially a business tool that can impact productivity and revenues — while improving leadership abilities.
Use an employee engagement solution that allows for two-way communication with employees. This gives them a safe space in which to share ideas, express concerns, even state a grievance.
The information can be transmitted internally to management and HR, which gives leadership a chance to respond in a constructive and responsive way. In this way, employees feel valued because someone is listening to them and cares enough to respond. When employees get the sense that leaders care, they are more apt to stay loyal to the organizational goals and less likely to leave when things get difficult.
When leaders get personal about employee engagement, they become an integral part of a more effective workforce.
Thymometrics is the new breed of employee feedback technology. Through real time, always-on surveys and feedback solutions, we provide revolutionary yet simple tools to empower employees whilst providing managers with deep and useable insights to improve business culture, staff well-being, productivity and profitability.
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