Most organizations today are aware of the significance of employee engagement for ensuring business success. A highly engaged workforce provides numerous benefits such as improved productivity, less absenteeism, better talent retention, and improved relationships with clients. However, in order to gain these various benefits, organizations need to develop their employee engagement strategies properly. They need to be aware of the positive and negative impact of the various policies and practices on employee engagement. This will help them gain a better understanding of what they should do and what they should avoid for creating a fully engaged workforce.
DOs of Employee Engagement
- Empower employees
Empowering employees to make strategic decisions related to their own work enhances their sense of control and ownership. They feel more trusted and generally make them enjoy the tasks being assigned to them. Even when the employees are empowered within set boundaries, they feel motivated to give their best and prove their worth to their superiors. They also show a greater willingness to help and support their co-workers and improve the overall work environment.
- Offer opportunities for growth
Most employees seek opportunities for professional and personal growth first within their current organization. They want opportunities to showcase their skills and enhance them further through peer support and guidance from their supervisors. It is essential for the managers to know and guide the employees in their teams to progress on the desired career paths through relevant assignments, training and development opportunities. Realizing that the organization is making significant effort to promote their career enhances employee loyalty and engagement quite significantly.
- Be transparent and authentic
One of the most basic requirements for building an engaged workforce is to create an environment of trust. For this, the organization needs to work towards developing a positive relationship with the members of the workforce. They need to be open, honest, and transparent with the employees and keep them updated about business policies and processes that may impact them directly or indirectly. Such an approach is essential for boosting the engagement levels of the employees by making them feel like an integral part of the organization.
- Show openness and flexibility
Employees tend to be less engaged if they believe the organization policies to be too rigid and restrictive. That is why organizations today need to adopt a more open and flexible approach while designing their policies. This creates a sense of satisfaction among the employees besides enhancing their happiness quotient at the workplace. They thus feel more inclined to become positively involved in the working of the organization and ensure their optimum contribution towards its growth.
One of the key factors that lead to lower employee engagement is the inability of managers to listen to what they have to say. Hearing out their views, ideas, and perspective assures the employees of being truly valued. Their sense of self-worth gets a boost when they are able to voice their opinions and contribute towards creating a better workplace. So listening to the employees is an important aspect of keeping them engaged.
DON’Ts of employee engagement
- Fill their time with undervalued tasks
Assigning tasks that hold little value for the organization can make the employees feel like being a burden on the organization. Being assigned tasks such as creating mundane reports that no one reads, or handling tasks that are way below their skill set, can impact their sense of self-worth in a deeply negative manner. It can also create serious doubts in their minds about their usefulness for the organization and even completely destroys their sense of belonging leading to low engagement levels and reduced employee productivity.
- Have unrealistic expectations
Employees tend to become disengaged from their organizations due to the unrealistic expectations of the organization. Such expectations make the employees feel like they are being deliberately set up for failure. Unrealistic expectations ensure that employees always fall short of being successful in completing their tasks despite putting in their best efforts. Consequently, they end up losing interest and their morale drops significantly.
- Poor and infrequent communication
Lack of frank and regular communication often breeds distrust within the workforce. The employees feel confused about their roles and responsibilities and this affects their performance in a significant manner. Overall, poor and infrequent communication takes a toll on employee motivation and engagement, leading to loss of productivity.
Despite the complexity of employee engagement as a subject, organizations need to learn to master this art. In this context, developing engagement strategies with clear DOs and DON’Ts can help in making the members of the workforce feel naturally motivated and involved within their organization. This can, in turn, will result in improved collaboration and productivity from the employees, leading to greater business results.