Business performance is greatly affected by the engagement and productivity of its employees. Skills and experience are no longer enough to lead and manage in today's business environment. There is a new emphasis on "people" skills such as communication and building good working realtionships. These affect the efficiency with which workers accomplish their tasks. With the various challenges employees face daily not just within their work but also with their personal lives, employee engagement has become a challenge not just by small business organisations but also by medium to large-scale business corporations.
Based on HayGroup's 2013 Global Employee Engagement and Enablement Trends, an average of 66% of global employees are engaged but it is still below the engagement levels you can find in high performing companies. In addition to these, the study also revealed that 43% of workers lack the motivation to create an impact to their organisations except than what is required for them from their jobs. With the numbers given, one can say that if employee engagement is given enough attention by business leaders, a significant change can happen within the business.
There are a lot of factors that can improve employee engagement in a company but here are the ones that can create an immediate effect with higher impact:
Set a Good Example
As a leader or manager your people will look to you to set the tone for the business. If you tell them "respect" is a central value of the business but you do not show respect in your interactions with people or in the decisions you make then you cannot expect your people to do what you say.
Strong Support System
Employees look up to their leaders and supervisors not just for guidance but also for support when it comes to their team’s role in the business. Developing open communication, discussing and clarifying the company’s plans and boosting the morale will not only support the employees but will also give them a feeling of belongingness and responsibility.
Findings in the Global Employee Trends show that 38% of the workers have complaints about the working conditions and how these conditions affect their productivity. The place where workers perform their jobs should be safe and comfortable and must also provide them the tools and resources they need to accomplish their tasks. We cannot expect employees to be in their 100% when they are working in unfavorable surroundings.
Clear definition of responsibilities
One can focus more on the task at hand if that person understands what he or she needs to do and why. Businesses face so many changes when it comes to demands, work routines and other processes to keep up with their competitors. Most of the time management will assign new responsibilities or tasks and fail to explain to employees why there is a need for those new responsibilities and how they can contribute to properly execute them.
Trusting your employees and not limiting them on how to accomplish their tasks can foster enthusiasm, encourage resourcefulness and provide a sense of ownership. Empowerment can also create an emotional bridge for the employees toward their companies and this connection can drive them to go beyond than what is expected of them and slowly build loyalty. Remember though... responsibility must come with adequate support or it becomes a "stress" and not a development exercise.
Create strategies for rewards and recognitions
Creating an incentive or rewards system to recognize employee contribution motivates them and increases their engagement. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a financial reward. A tap on the back or a personal email for tasks delivered on time, a bigger say on the team’s decision-making or compliment in front of other co-workers re some recognitions that will not cost any company a single cent but can boost positive motivation. Beware... some "rewards" programs can actually have a reverse effect..
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