2 Must-Have Keys to Engaging Employees

Graphic of how to boost the keys to engaging employees

Keys to Engaging Employees
Lots of leaders and managers talk a good game when the subject of improving employee engagement comes up, but how many are really serious about putting in the time and effort to make sure it happens?

The Definition of Employee Engagement
Simply put, engaged employees advocate for their company, give more discretionary effort and intend to stay at the company.

Why Employee Engagement Matters
First you should know how much it matters. Studies show that engaged workers are over 40% more productive and effective than their unengaged counterparts. Now wouldn’t that make enough of a difference for your senior leadership to sit up and take notice?

Two Keys to Doing Employee Engagement Right
We believe there are two keys to getting employee engagement right:

  1. Being strategic, and
  2. Involving managers

#1.  Being Strategic
This means that you have identified not only what engagement will look like but what role it will play in your business and people strategies. For engagement to drive performance, you need clear linkages between the way you want your workers to behave and your strategic priorities.

In other words, engagement should not be an HR tactic, but a company and leadership strategy for success.  Once the strategy is clear, use a customized engagement survey that will help pinpoint the engagement areas and actions that matter most.

#2.  Involving Managers
Managers hold the keys to improving the engagement of their teams. You must actively involve them in understanding the survey results and in designing the actions required to improve employee advocacy, discretionary effort and intent to stay.

Then teach them how to follow up effectively.

  • Have they built good relationships with their employees?
  • Have they earned the trust of their followers?
  • Have they communicated the importance and value of engagement?
  • Do they know how to observe behavior and give constructive feedback?
  • Can they commit to having conversations on a regular basis with each team member to track and monitor progress toward agreed-upon behavioral goals?

Finally, you must hold managers accountable for the level of engagement of their team. They need to know you are serious. This is not just a nice-to-have because  you, and the senior executive team, have determined that employee engagement matters a great deal.

The Bottom Line
Periodically, check with all employees to see if their managers are following up by sharing and reviewing engagement results with the team and by creating action plans to improve.  We know that when managers don’t follow up, their team loses 6% of their engagement in just one year.

If you want to learn more keys to engaging employees, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement.

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