Employee engagement can be the secret sauce for your success. By having a fully engaged staff, you could enjoy higher profitability, less absenteeism and improved relationships with your customers, plus countless other benefits. Have you ever looked at your policies and practices through the prism of employee engagement to see which ones provide a positive or negative influence?
Let's have a look at some important do’s and don'ts when it comes to employee engagement and retention.
Do: Empower Employees
Employees who can make decisions that pertain to their work on their own, without the approval of their manager, tend to feel more in control and trusted. On the other hand, if they need to seek the signature of three managers before they can purchase a box of pencils, it sends a message that they cannot be trusted. Of course, there are limitations and boundaries, and some controls are always needed. But when an employee is empowered, he or she is more likely to enjoy the work and to help find ways to improve the work environment.
Don't: Fill Their Time with Undervalued Tasks
Everyone wants to feel as though their contribution and work is valuable. When an employee's workday is comprised of mostly low value, unimportant tasks, it can do some serious damage to morale and won’t fall into the category of great employee retention strategies. Some examples of low-value tasks include regular reports that no one reads or any activity that delivers results that are worth less than the time it took to produce.
Do: Offer Opportunities for Growth
Engaged employees want a chance to succeed. They want to put their skills to good use and build upon those skills. Speak to your employees about their desired career path and look for ways to help them along on it. Perhaps there are some new projects on the horizon that will provide opportunities for learning and expanding skills. Seek out development and training opportunities that may help them further their career. Using a sound employee engagement survey is a great way to find out what is on their minds.
Don't: Have Unrealistic Expectations
There aren't many other employee engagement killers that are greater than an employee feeling as though he or she has been set up for failure. If your expectations are not reasonable or attainable, no amount of effort or hard work will make the employee feel as though they’re successful. As a result, they're less likely to even make the effort.
Do: Be Transparent and Authentic
Building a good positive relationship with your employees is critical for boosting employee engagement and will work as part of your employee retention strategies. You can help to create an environment of trust by being open, honest, and transparent with your employees. The old-school view of management versus staff has been replaced by a far more collaborative model with greater give-and-take.
Don't: Communicate Poorly or Infrequently
Company goals and objectives should come as a surprise to no one if they're being adequately communicated to your staff. Through regular communication, your employees should have a clear understanding of the role they play in achieving those objectives.
Do: Show Openness and Flexibility
When employees feel the company's policies are too rigid and restrictive, chances are they're discouraging good employee engagement. On the other hand, when you show an openness and willingness to look at alternatives to those practices and policies, that indicates that you are putting the employees' needs and values first. Things like adopting a more flexible work schedule can be a godsend to employees who are struggling to find more quality time with their families.
Engaged employees want to participate in making it a better workplace. They may have ideas, opinions, and perspectives that deserve to be heard. So, to that end, your job is to listen.
In order to gather feedback, analyze the responses, and come up with an actionable plan to improve engagement, you may want to initiate an employee engagement survey. Through a survey like this, you can get a true sense of the satisfaction that your employees have with their work. Conducting a survey also illustrates your desire to improve the work environment for your employees, to include them in the process and to give them a voice and be a part of shaping the future of the company.