Employee engagement has recently become a hot topic for many businesses looking for a competitive edge. Leaders are now recognizing the value of human capital and understanding the benefits of retaining quality personnel. High turnover rates, undoubtedly, affect the bottom line by forcing companies to absorb the cost of hiring and training new staff. It decreases morale, interrupts the flow of productivity, and is a detriment to the operations of any business focused on serving its’ target audience. With the employee experience at the forefront of many executive discussions, we are encouraged to explore those factors that promote retention and enhance the overall work experience.
- PURPOSE: Every employee needs to feel that his work matters! As a leader it is your responsibility to create an environment that promotes a sense of meaning for your team member. Regardless of whether your employee is responsible for taking out the trash in the office or making top level decisions in the board room, your employee wants to feel that her work is important and somehow helpful to the company’s overall mission. Take the time to (genuinely) understand each team member. Ask about his experience. Offer ideas on how to make her work more meaningful. These conversations will promote engagement by demonstrating your commitment to not only the customer but also your biggest investor-the employee.
- INDEPENDENCE: Give your staff some space! Employees are much more likely to invest in your mission if they are provided with the freedom to make their own choices and take calculated risks. When team members feel trusted by their employers their confidence goes up, their commitment level rises, and their willingness to perform above expectation is made evident in the quality of their work. Show your employee that you trust his judgment and you will be rewarded with a team member that will buy into your vision and become your partner.
- OPPORTUNITY: Every team member wants to feel that there is more to their job than what they experience on a daily basis. This human need to move beyond one’s current state is critical to an employee’s level of engagement in the workplace. Leaders must recognize this need and develop strategies for providing employees with opportunities for advancement. This may take the form of leadership development programming, continuing education course offerings, or exposure to activities and discussions that will enhance the team member’s skill set. The time is NOW to step up as a leader and invest in the people who are responsible for the success of your organization.
- SAFETY: In order to perform at their best, employees must feel safe in their work environment. For staff who live in constant fear of losing their job, anxiety can become a daily reality. As a leader you must put systems in place to ensure open communication, encourage opposing viewpoints, and REJECT a corporate culture characterized by secrets and suspicion. An informed employee is an engaged employee so be sure to include your team members in ANY decision that will directly affect their ability to feel safe and secure while employed by your agency.
- RELATIONSHIPS: Every employee on your payroll has a need to feel connected to his team members as well as his supervisor. Human beings are social creatures with a natural inclination for affiliation. Team members who are provided opportunities to interact with and develop meaningful relationships with colleagues are more likely to perform at their best. Leadership can create such an environment by allocating funds to support team building activities, annual retreats, and employee wellness plans. Your employees do not live in a bubble so be prepared to do what is necessary to ensure that your staff feel connected and inspired by their fellow team members!
Every business relies on its’ employees to achieve outcomes. By focusing on the employee experience, organizations are more likely to retain quality talent and reduce costs associate with high turnover rates. To learn more about how to engage your employees send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org