Employee engagement is one of the most important aspects of human resource management that is often neglected in organizations. Most companies assume that all employees must be equally engaged in their respective roles, but this is far from the truth.
Engaged and non-engaged employees are very distinctive in their attitude and results. While engaged employees try to give their best to the tasks assigned to them, non-engaged employees simply don't care. Not just that, but they also make their dissatisfaction visible and affect the overall environment of the workplace. For effective human resource management, increasing employee engagement is necessary.
Here are some ways you can achieve that:
1. Impart meaning to their work
Would you enjoy doing something that has literally no use in the real world? Probably not… This is one of the most common factors among disengaged workers: lack of meaning in their work. They feel that their work is not important, and thus they don't find the motivation to give their 100% to the task.
To solve this, you need to make your employees understand that the work they are doing is important. It may not be changing the planet, but someone somewhere is counting on them. Even further, make them see that their work has a visible contribution to the overall success of the company.
2. Understand their individuality
Employees have a life outside work, and that life continues to affect them even when they are in the office. Disengaged employees often feel that the company simply doesn’t care about them as an individual, which results in their dissatisfaction with the company.
As a manager, it must be your duty to make your employees realize that you respect their individuality. Their personalities must be understood and taken into consideration while assigning them roles. Furthermore, try to make them feel a connection with the company. Be it idea sharing or participating in cultural events, you must ensure that your employees feel that they belong to your organization.
3. Reward your employees
The importance of positive reinforcement cannot be stressed upon enough. Rewards are not just formalities. They are an acknowledgment of the good work your employees do. Most disengaged employees feel that their efforts are not duly acknowledged by the company, which makes them demotivated to give their best.
In order to improve employee engagement, giving rewards must be your priority. Regular assessments must be held and employees that are performing well must be rewarded for their work.
At the same time, employees that are not performing well must not be outright discarded but must be motivated to perform better. They must be told about the possible incentive they would receive if they improve their performance. Also, the rewards don't have to be grand. Their main utility is the message they convey. Even if it is a small "Thank you" note, it does wonders as far as positive reinforcement is considered.
4. Start from the top
Grassroot-level initiatives are important, but that doesn't mean the top-dogs are not accountable. Employees look up to their superiors for motivation and guidance. If they see that the leaders are not engaged in the interest of the company, the employees won't feel motivated either.
"Walk the talk" should be your motto. People on top of the hierarchy must first display what they expect from their subordinates. "Leaders" are so named for a reason. If they display the qualities that they seek in their employees, the rest would feel more compelled to follow in their footsteps.
5. Offer transparency
Transparency plays an important role in setting the tone for workplace culture. If there is too much secrecy behind operations, it would only alienate the employees and make them feel disengaged.
Your company must offer the same level of transparency to the employees that it expects from them. You should trust your employees with sensitive and important information. It is a risk, but it is a risk worth taking. If the employees feel that the company has high trust in them, they would be compelled to do better in their performance.
6. Start from the beginning
Do you think that improving engagement works only for employees who are disengaged? Wrong… Engagement needs to be the inherent trait of everyone you hire, and this must be made clear from day one.
Everyone who joins your company must be made useful from their first day. Instead of filling out unnecessary forms and waiting for someone to notice them, assign them to work from the beginning. All the points we mentioned must be applied to them, including respecting their individuality and giving them meaningful work. Doing it right from the start ensures that they won't become disengaged later.
7. Set the right workplace culture
Everything cumulates into the type of workplace environment you maintain in the office. Like we mentioned in the beginning, disengaged employees often make their dissatisfaction visible in the office, thus affecting other employees too. You should try to avoid that.
To do just that, you must promote employee participation in every little thing that occurs in the office. Team building and leadership must be promoted. Employees must be taught to be cooperative and respectful towards each other. Fun activities must be organized frequently to impart a sense of belonging to them while reducing their stress at the same time. These might appear to be trivial activities, but they provide significant results in the long run.
8. Allow them to grow
A significant number of disengaged employees feel that their potential is being unused and thus wasted in their organization. This usually happens because they are mapped into projects that do not utilize their skill set or does not provide them with the necessary career growth.
As an employer, it must be your responsibility to remedy that. The first step would be to carry out a survey and ask the employees if they feel they should have been assigned a different task. Match the survey results with the individual skill sets of the employees and see if you can relocate them to a project that better suits their skills. Employees feel happier and more engaged if they are doing what they are good at.
At the same time, take an interest in the career aspirations of your employees. Ask them about any specific kind of roles they have wanted to play. If they are interested in improving their skills or developing new ones, provide them with the necessary training. You can seek the help of professional service providers for the same.
Not only will it make them more satisfied with your company, but also provide you with employees that are better trained and have a useful skill set.
Employee engagement is far too important for an organization to be ignored. Companies with maximum employee engagement always produce better results than those with significant disengaged workers. Thus, improving the engagement of employees must be high on your priority list.