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How to foster employee engagement

Don’t try to engage your employees, only your employees can engage themselves. All you can do is create an environment which helps people to be self-motivated and engaged. Everyone is different, that is true, but there are common factors that are intrinsic to everybody’s level of satisfaction and engagement at work.

Engaged employees voluntarily invest time, effort and take the initiative to contribute to business success in various ways over and above what is expected of them. 

Why? Because they feel three basic human values: 

  • a sense of belonging to a group; 
  • a sense of fulfillment and 
  • a sense of purpose with their job.

 These factors help them to be enthusiastic, passionate and energetic.

To achieve these values and engage people in making the following visible and part of your business and how they work:

Produce meaningful work – people who believe the work they do is important and valued, will believe in themselves and engage with their work environment. What you need to do is to consistently make clear the importance of their roles to the success of the business. You need to show them the connection between what they do and the company’s success whilst setting goals and challenges that will give them a sense of purpose.

Create growth and opportunity – people want to use their skills, and respond to encouragement in stretching themselves and developing themselves further. Are your people fully using their strengths and abilities? Do you know what their strengths and abilities are? Are they being given the opportunity in what they are currently doing to use them? Are their achievements moving in the direction it makes them grow? Are there projects or challenges they can work on to expand their skill set? Help them advance within the company, and provide clear and consistent feedback on how they can improve their performance. This will benefit, in terms of growth, both for the company as well as the employee.

Uphold inspiring leadership – Hands-on, passionate and competent leadership is vital to enthuse and engage teams, whether they’re in admin, sales, manufacturing or elsewhere. A genuine interest in understanding the needs and aspirations of teams as a group and individuals will pay dividends. Sending the message that their contribution is valued and of importance when wanting to stretch them to achieve goals. Get involved with their experience in the workplace, find out what motivates them and how they define success and what is rewarding to them.

Foster a culture focused on people – It’s well acknowledged that companies that recognize their people are their greatest assets reap the benefits. Understand the responsibilities and values of your people outside of work and consider initiatives that will enable them to achieve and carry on their personal pursuits. Encourage people to balance hard work with socializing and doing what is important to them. Encourage them to share their ideas, insights, and experiences and build up in them a sense of being valued, of camaraderie and of a community where they can thrive; this will increase engagement.

Reward and recognize – people who know their efforts will be recognized and rewarded will happily give their best, volunteer time and deliver great work as opposed to feeling they are obliged to. This is the difference between staff commitment and staff compliance. Demonstrate you’re aware of their hard work by appreciating and thanking them for their efforts. Praise great work in meaningful ways and publicly celebrate accomplishments. This will encourage individuals and boost their performance and confidence. Competitive pay and benefits are basic factors to perform well, however, incentives for over and above results give employees something extra to strive for.

More motivated, loyal, and committed employees are typically high performers who contribute and produce better results for both their employers and the company clients.

Posted on July 2, 2017

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