8 Leadership Strategies for Daily Employee Engagement
What is the number one productivity-killer?
Disengaged employees who are just in it for the paycheque. Employees who see your company as the "nine-to-five grind," and keep their eye on the clock.
As an entrepreneur, it's hard to believe that remuneration can be some employees' only source of motivation. You've made a living by fighting tooth and nail to realize your dream for a product or service that you believe needs to be available. You want your employees to believe in it too, and not only that, but be engaged enough to innovate with you.
Imagine what your company could accomplish if each and every one of your employees was invested in the purpose of your organization. Imagine the constant flow of ideas and excitement going around the office.
Imagine employee engagement at full tilt.
Employee engagement has been defined as employees' enthusiasm for their work based on strong positive emotional and rational attachment to their job.
A commerce and management study found that employee engagement is correlated with organizational performance. Organizations with high employee engagement benefit from:
Higher retention rates
Higher customer loyalty
From less turnover, to taking less sick days, to quadruple the financial performance over competitors in the industry, engaged employees make a difference. Convinced? Read on to learn eight strategies for daily employee engagement.
It Starts With YOU
As the employer, the responsibility to inspire and motivate the team falls on your shoulders.
Get to know them as people: Employees are people, not machines! They have interests, goals, dreams, families, and lives outside of their jobs. Ask about their week-end, their personal goals, their new puppy; allow an open and safe space for them to share their lives with you.
Share your vision: your employees don't know what's going on in your head unless you communicate your vision to them. Provide them with a clear outline of what you envision, and the direction to get there.
Match their strengths to responsibilities: don't assign an accountant marketing duties, and likewise, don't assign bookkeeping to a graphic designer. Identify strengths and align your employee's energy to what they care about and are good at.
Encourage new ideas: don't limit your employees. If they're willing to share it means that they're actively thinking of ways to better your business. Harness the innovative spirit and build on their ideas.
"In most cases, being a good boss means hiring talented people and getting out of their way." - Tina Fey
Provide the opportunity for growth: this article mentions a Hierarchy of Engagement that is similar to Maslow's Hierarchy of needs. At the bottom, you'll find what is necessary for survival (i.e. pay and benefits). One level higher comes the need for validation and promotion, next is an alignment to your leadership style, and finally the meaningfulness of the work. Make sure that you're offering all the levels in the hierarchy model to see engagement increase.
Check-in: it seems obvious, but too much freedom can become debilitating. If an employee needs direction, give it to them. This is a way to avoid burn-out, spinning (choosing easy tasks rather than productive ones), and splitting (leaving the company).
Ensuring your employees are happy to be at the office and eager to contribute to the company and its community creates the connection and purpose necessary for the success of the company.
Excellent employee engagement starts from day one and is nurtured day by day.