It’s one thing to make the right hires. But to get the most out of each employee you onboard, you need a strategy for engaging your team in meaningful ways.
Thankfully, that isn’t as hard as many make it out to be.
The Push for Greater Engagement
Employee engagement means different things to different people. However, it’s generally used to describe the level of commitment employees show toward their work and the values of the company they work for.
As entrepreneur Corey Moseley puts it, “Engaged employees show up and are involved, not only because they’re paid to be, but because they’re invested, emotionally or otherwise.”
As a business owner, maximizing employee engagement on both an individual and collective basis should be one of your primary objectives. When you enhance engagement, you’ll reap rewards like better productivity, higher customer satisfaction, better retention, and stronger loyalty.
6 Engagement-Boosting Tactics to Try
Most business owners have a theoretical understanding of the importance of employee engagement. The issue isn’t appreciating the need for greater engagement — it’s going out and proactively cultivating it. So without further delay, let’s dig into some specific tactics you can implement in the coming days and weeks:
1. Cultivate a Meaningful Culture
No factor plays a more definitive and transformative role in enhancing engagement (or suppressing it, for that matter) than company culture. The right culture sets the tone for how employees relate to the business, customers, and one another. Your culture should prioritize the collective embrace of common goals — goals that are set with representation from people at all levels of the corporate hierarchy. It can’t be an “us vs. them” mentality. Everyone has to work together and see others at every level as teammates.
2. Allow Scheduling Flexibility
The 9-to-5 routine is dead. If you’re asking employees to come into the office for set hours — punching in and punching out — you’re lulling them to sleep.
No two employees work the same way. Some people do their best work early in the morning. Others hit their stride in the late afternoon or evening. You can account for this by allowing scheduling flexibility. This includes both when employees work and where they work. When employees see that you’re willing to work with them, their appreciation and loyalty will blossom.
3. Give Autonomy
Employees also want to feel they have the freedom to accomplish the tasks you set before them. Too much red tape stifles creativity, limits productivity, and produces feelings of cynicism and resentment.
Assuming you hire the right people — individuals who are talented and trustworthy — you should feel comfortable giving them a certain degree of autonomy to go out and make things happen. Will they make mistakes? Absolutely. But over time, they’ll learn to become better decision makers and strategists. This not only shapes them into more productive employees, but it also enhances your company culture and output.
4. Don’t Micromanage
This goes hand in hand with giving greater autonomy. The less you micromanage people, the more freedom they’ll feel to do their work in an efficient and productive manner.
Rather than hovering over employees, consider having weekly accountability meetings, where employees are expected to show up with very specific deliverables and progress reports. This sort of approach helps you stay on top of what your team is doing without having to press every minute of every day.
5. Integrate Digital Technology
It’s time to usher your office into the new age and implement the technology your team needs to be productive and engaged. One simple suggestion is to use digital signage throughout your office. It’s known to increase engagement and keep employees happier and more organized. You can show real-time metrics, monitor progression toward key business goals and acknowledge accomplishments.
6. Foster Healthy Relationships
Your employees need to have healthy relationships with one another. They don’t have to like each other in the sense that they’re best friends outside the office, but they should be able to cooperatively work together in a supportive capacity to move toward larger goals.
Is employee engagement the only factor in the success of your business? Far from it. But it’s one of the most underrated and oft-neglected factors. The sooner you prioritize it, the more productivity and efficiency you’ll breathe into the fiber of your organization.