There are two types of companies in the world: those that prioritize a culture of employee engagement, and those that don’t. The main difference between the two? The latter misses out on lowering their risk of turnover, gaining a measurable increase in productivity and profit, and boosting their overall chance of success.
Imagine two employees who work at different companies: The first employee comes to work each day with determination and constantly bounces off new ideas with other employees. The second employee does the bare minimum to get by, gets their paycheck, and constantly keeps their eye on their watch to see when they’re off work. Which worker is immersed in a culture of engagement at their company?
For managers looking to elevate their company, the answer should be clear. Engaged employees, who are emotionally and behaviorally attached to their job and company, go above and beyond to contribute to the success of their organization. Read more to learn how to create a culture of engagement.
How to Create a Culture of Engagement
1. Master Your Onboarding Process
In a survey conducted by Society for Human Resource Management, one-third of new hires left their jobs after only six months. In other words, you’ve got fewer than six months to engage your employees before they walk out the door. However, with an interactive and thorough onboarding program, you can demonstrate to your employees that you appreciate them, which allows them to recognize the value in their job at the beginning of their journey with your company. We understand that remote work is here to stay, which comes with the challenge of effectively communicating and connecting with others through an effective virtual onboarding process.
2. Step Back from Micromanaging
It’s crucial to realize that micromanaging can do more harm than good to your organization. In a survey conducted by staffing agency Accountemps, 68% of employees working for a micromanager claimed a decrease in morale, and 55% reported that their morale was negatively impacted. Low morale and poor productivity—two indicators of actively disengaged workers.
As best-selling author Daniel H. Pink says, “Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.”
Allow your employees to take the reins over their work. When employees have the freedom to come up with their own ideas and solve problems, they’ll develop a sense of autonomy and engage more with their job. Whether it’s taking on a new project or contributing to strategy development, encourage your employees to come up with their own decisions, while underlining that they can reach out to their managers if they have questions. Offering freedom and a greater sense of control in your employees’ tasks show that you trust their skills and abilities.
3. Invest In Your Employees
Each year, it costs the U.S. economy $1 trillion dollars due to voluntary turnover. When an employee leaves your company, not only do you lose their accumulated knowledge and expertise, but it wastes your time, resources, and money. To show your employees that you are committed to helping them with their intellectual and professional development, invest in their future.
The tough reality is, if you don’t invest in your employees, especially young talent, you’re also not advancing your company’s sustainability and scalability. Whether it’s fostering employee development through leadership development or coaching programs, investing in your people is a vital component of developing an engaged workforce as well as a cost-effective strategy to reduce employee turnover, protect your bottom line, and your company culture.
4. Employees: Human First
Employees don’t leave companies; they leave managers. If you plan on preventing turnover in the long run, your company must commit to an ongoing process of using emotional intelligence to intrinsically engage them.
It’s difficult for an employee to become engaged at work when they feel like the difficult tasks they’re doing are unappreciated or worse yet, unrecognized. According to a Gallup study, employees who don’t feel recognized are twice as likely to quit. When your employees know they are making a difference, work becomes more purposeful and motivating. In order to determine the best route of engaging your employees, ask them the following questions:
- What do you need to feel connected to the team and the manager?
Some employees feel most connected to their colleagues when silos are broken down and information is easily accessible, when they have scheduled check-ins with their manager, or when they’re assigned a mentor in the workplace.
- What do you need to feel appreciated for your efforts?
Appreciation in the workplace varies employee-to-employee. Some employees feel most appreciated when they receive undivided attention from their superiors or coworkers, but others may prefer words of affirmation instead. Check out our recommended book, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, to learn more.
- What do you need to feel fulfilled in your role?
Many employees, particularly younger workers, may feel most fulfilled when they’re given challenging tasks. Other examples of feeling fulfilled include receiving employee development opportunities, or setting and achieving goals.
A leader that is emotionally intelligent understands how their words and actions affect the connections with their employees. Regardless of how you choose to acknowledge your employees, asking the three questions above is the first step in fostering a culture of engagement by learning how their employees best feel connected, appreciated, and fulfilled in their jobs.
If you need help creating a culture of engagement, book a call with us here.
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