Super-charge your team with these employee engagement methods

Super-charge your team with these employee engagement methods

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” These are the words of the former CEO and Chairperson of Xerox, Anna Mulcahy.  These words should be the gospel for all managers for all organizations, irrespective of business scale and industry type. These words should be resonating in their attitude and approach when dealing with their team members. 

Unfortunately, organizations have always tended to focus more on their customers and fairly so because their customers drive sales and revenues. Employees are usually taken for granted! Or, let’s say that organizations are not too ready to spend time, money, and efforts on employees. It was the common state of affairs in the last century. However, in 1990, Kahn introduced a unique concept called ‘Employee Engagement‘ in his article titled “Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work.” It kind of laid the foundation for modern-day employee engagement, as we know though the term was coined much later. 

Employee engagement has been defined in hundreds of different ways. Simply said, it is about employees being genuinely positively connected to their work. As a result, their level of engrossment in their work is unmatched – almost inducing envy in the competition. Such employees are people who would not mind replying to an email at 6 PM, taking it in their stride, invested as much as they would be to any such demand in their personal life. 

Is employee engagement a saga for modern corporates, or does it really work?

Data from different studies prove that employee engagement is not a whiff in the air – an unnecessary commotion created by HR experts. No, it is something that is subtlety present – waiting to be recognized and addressed meaningfully by managers. The more prompt you are in understanding it, the better opportunity you have to stimulate it positively and redeem its benefits. 

Does ABBA’s “Money, money, money” apply to employee engagement?

Many managers think that their team members are driven by money. But, coincidentally, a study reveals that about 36% of your employees would happily give up money equivalent to 5,000 dollars per annum just to work peacefully at work. The Pyramid of Employee Needs lists four things that engaged employees to want from the employer/manager:

  1. Enjoy independence at work
  2. Have the genuine feeling of being a part of the team.
  3. Feel that they are making a difference to business performance 
  4. Get real opportunities to learn in the workplace and grow professionally. 

What can managers do to support building high employee engagement?

1. Support the personal growth of team members

Personal growth is crucial for each individual, for everyone wants to grow. In his book Drive, Daniel Pink mentions that there are three components of personal growth – autonomy, purpose, and mastery. 

  • Autonomy – Each team member of yours wants to feel in control. That is basic human nature.
  • Purpose – syncing with the organization’s mission and vision arouses the right passion in employees.
  • Mastery – learning how to get better at things. 

How to support personal growth? 

  • Offer your team the opportunity to learn and grow. 
  • Micromanaging can be harmful – give space to your team.
  • Keep your mission clear and simple for everyone to understand and work in accordance.
  • Talk to your team members continuously to understand what is stressing them at work. 

2. Thanking team members

Employee recognition is all about acknowledging work well done. It is very simple, but leaders and managers over complicate things. Sometimes, they are too engrossed in their work to notice who’s doing good. And, when they notice someone doing good, they are usually unsure about how to handle it. In the process, they lose a great opportunity to leverage team engagement. 

Having an effective recognition program can resolve these issues optimally. 

What can managers do to recognize productive workers?

  • Keep rewards and recognition separate. They could be interlinked, but each has a separate entity. 
  • Recognition is as simple as patting the back or giving public applause before the daily meeting. 
  • Invest yourself in becoming a mindful leader. 
  • Use a high-tech platform that has a dashboard for public acknowledgment of good work.
  • Sending an email or a handwritten note can be done too to engage team members. 
  • The big question – how often should team members be recognized? As per Gallup, it should be once a week, at least.

3. Integrating feedback

What is feedback? It is a form of communication where the team members are informed about their performance. Ambiguity is uncomfortable, and it creates unrest and distrust in the team. The truth is that feedback is over-amplified so much so that most managers do not know how to give feedback or are scared to put things into perspective. Typically, in most cases, it is the annual performance appraisal when team members get to know about what the manager feels about their performance. 

What can managers do about feedback?

  • Keep it a continuous and regular process.
  • Give corrective feedback. 
  • Avoid negative feedback. Make your feedback system constructive.
  • Ensure that your tone, words, and body language are not negative. 
  • Ensure that the feedback has a specific outcome attached to it. Try not to leave it open-ended, confusing your team member even more. 
  • Keep neutral. Managers should avoid bias of all types.
  • It is the behavior of the person that the feedback is all about, not the person. 
  • Be straight, to the point while giving feedback.

4. Focus on becoming a good leader

In various studies, most people leave their jobs or are unhappy at their workplace because of the manager. Organizations need to be responsible when they hire managers. 

What can managers do?

At their individual level, managers need to work on three aspects to create a positive environment in the office:

  • Create a work setting where your team members are comfortable approaching you and communicating with you.
  • Focus on regular reviews and not annual ones to gauge how your team members are performing.
  • Get into the learning mode – attend leadership training and workshops to acquire skills and better understand team management.
  • Learn to see the strength of your employee rather than the weakness.
  • Connect one-to-one with your team members, and do so regularly.
  • Instead of encouraging negative competition amongst your team members (some managers believe it works), focus on arousing a spirit of friendship in your team.
  • Practice flexibility to promote quality work-life balance. A little understanding does not hurt, and the pros will reflect in the year-end performance. 
  • Do not look for big wins – those will anyway happen. Focus on the smaller ones. Small wins are always the foundation stone for bigger wins. 

5. Making your team members your brand ambassadors

When your team members become your brand ambassadors, you can be sure that you do things right. For example, if someone was to ask them for a good job opening, would your team members refer your organization! If they do, they are your brand ambassadors. If not, there is a lot to do.

How to convert your team into brand ambassadors?

  • Use proactive tools to measure how likely they are to recommend the brand to peers, vendors, customers, and more and measure the metrics.
  • Conduct focus groups to understand what stops them from being your brand spokesperson.
  • In brand evolvement campaigns, ensure that your team is involved to whatever lengths possible. 

6. Show your care for your team members’ well-being

It is essential to make your team members feel that their well-being is very important for the organization. It can fuel employee engagement and accelerate it beyond discernible results. Your team needs to have a good work-life balance to come recharged to the office every day. 

What can managers do to ensure the well-being of their team?

  • Do not set unrealistic expectations from your team.
  • Do not assume that they are available 24×7 for work. 
  • Respect their right to personal time and space.
  • Encourage your team members to follow healthy food and lifestyle habits.
  • Look for ways to bring calmness to your workplace. It can make work a lot more peaceful and stress-free.

7. Getting your team on the same platform 

Many organizations play the policy of hide-and-seek. They are not transparent and honest about what is happening, about the bigger picture. On the contrary, as managers, you can push employee engagement by following transparent and ethical methods. 

What can managers do to keep everyone on the same level?

  • Integrate company values in day-to-day activities and workflows.
  • It is good to remind your team about the values during weekly meetings and Town Halls.
  • Reinforce the company values and mission during onboarding sessions.

Employee engagement is not a farce, the imagination of a psychologist, or the fancy of an HR manager. It is real; it is something that your competition is addressing dynamically. Engaging employees results in a productivity boost, better innovation, better services to your customers, and fewer chances of leaving the organization.

Remember, highly engaged organizations are listening better, are more purposeful and inclusive than those that are not. If you are looking at driving employee engagement with purpose and inclusiveness, consider the resourceful buzz platform.

Tags: No tags

Comments are closed.