When it comes to employee engagement strategies, I tend to think there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. In fact, I’d urge skepticism regarding most cookie-cutter approaches to retaining high levels of employee engagement. The fact is that all companies are different, and it’s important to choose your employee engagement strategies based on culture, company size, goals, etc.
With that said, I do think there are a few timeless principles that are all but set in stone; employee engagement strategies that work well across all different types of organizations. I’m not saying these are completely foolproof, but if you execute them properly, I think you’ll see your employee engagement numbers start moving in the right direction. What’s more, these principles can lay a firm foundation for more robust or advanced employee engagement efforts.
5 Essential Employee Engagement Strategies
- Offer your employees a roadmap for success. While the future is always a little uncertain, most of us prefer to have some sense of where our lives and our careers are headed. Your employees are no different. Younger employees (think millennial and younger) are especially eager to have some sense of what’s coming down the pipeline; they want to know if they have a real future within your organization, or need to plan a career trajectory that involves a few employer change-ups.
As such, one of the best things you can do to facilitate employee engagement is provide your team members with affirmation that they have a real future with your business, chances to grow into new skills and responsibilities. This can be as simple as holding regular career discussions with your employees, asking them where they see themselves in the years to come and providing them with some ways in which they can position themselves for advancement within your enterprise.
In short, I’d recommend showing your employees that you’re making an investment in them over the long haul.
- Acknowledge good work. People like to know what the future holds, and likewise, they like to have their efforts and accomplishments recognized. It may seem like a small thing to highlight your team members’ achievements or to celebrate their successes… but actually, it’s no small thing at all for hard-working professionals to receive accolades from their highers-up.
Statistics consistently show that most employees worry their efforts go unnoticed; and when employees feel like their hard work is never appreciated, they quickly lose their motivation to do anything but the bare minimum.
One of the most effective employee engagement strategies you can muster is to provide a few simple words of recognition when the situation calls for it.
- Ensure open lines of communication. Another hallmark of effective employee engagement strategies: Ensuring consistent, two-way communication between managers and employees. Organizational leaders should be proactive in sharing news and updates with team members. Nobody likes to be left in the dark, so make sure your employees have a good sense of where the company is headed, how things are going, what big projects are coming down the pipeline, etc. Dispensing such information on a “need to know” basis only can cause your team members to feel like you don’t really trust or value them.
At the same time, make sure you have channels in place for employees to present their questions, concerns, or suggestions, without fear of any kind of retaliation. Yes, it’s important to have an open door policy, but you should go a step further; make sure employees know that their comments and feedback will be truly received by a leader or manager, and treated with due seriousness.
For your organizational culture to thrive, it’s critical that you provide consistent two-way communication.
- Give team members a sense of purpose. Don’t assume that your team members are content to simply show up each day, do some grunt work, and collect a paycheck. This may be true of some employees, but many of them want to do work that actually makes a difference. This is especially true of younger employees. They want to know that what they do matters.
As such, it can be helpful to provide a clear set of business values and principles, and to show each team member how their daily efforts connect to those values and principles. Make sure your employees know the mission of your organization, and feel like they’re helping to further it.
- Be fair. Finally, as you think about the best employee engagement strategies, I’ll offer a simple yet seismic suggestion: Treat your employees with fairness. What do I mean by this? For one, it’s critical that employees feel like they are being judged on the basis of the effort they put in, not external factors that are outside their control.
Also, it’s important that leaders and managers hold themselves to the same standard (perhaps even a higher standard) as their employees.
Be sure that your team members consistently feel like they’re getting a fair shake; that so long as they work and behave to a specified standard, they will be rewarded in kind.
Questions About Employee Engagement Strategies?
These are some vital principles that I think will serve your organization well, and that translate pretty well from one business setting to the next.
Do you have additional questions about formulating or implementing employee engagement strategies? I’d love to chat with you! Connect with me and let’s have a conversation about employee engagement strategies. Contact me at www.rickgoodman.com or call 888-267-6098.