A company is nothing without its employees, and their voices are the most important thing you can listen to, not only to strengthen company culture, innovation and ideas but to also improve individual engagement – which in turn increases creativity, effectiveness and retention.
How to make your people feel more engaged
Start with questions
Finding out what your team think starts with questions. Lots of managers make the mistake of telling their team members what their company is about and what they have to offer without finding out what their employees actually want. A lot more companies like to use questionnaires to find out what their employees are thinking, limiting the person on what they can write and explain in a paragraph on a piece of paper. How do you get real feedback? Ask them. Take the time to ask your team what they’re thinking and feeling and what could change to make them happier or more productive. Then take this information and action what you can.
Keep the right information transparent
Keeping people in the know about company changes is crucial to company transparency and development. Trusting people with information gives them a sense of deeper investment into the company and adds to a transparent, team driven culture. Encourage people to share their ideas with you and their colleagues. It’s also important to keep some information under lock and key – its never good to have an environment which encourages gossip and hear say. By knowing what information to share and what information to keep private, your employees won’t have a fear of communicating with you.
Give praise when its needed
Giving recognition and praise when warranted is encouraging for all. Positive reinforcement in the form of praise, positive communication, incentives or rewards encourages engagement and motivation in the workplace when your team know what they’re doing is being appreciated. Focus on positive aspects of a task a team member has carried out and acknowledge it.
Don’t make false promises
For your team to be engaged they have to feel motivated in the work they are doing. Making false promises to employees such as promotions, bonuses and other opportunities will only decrease motivation and cause them to look for other positions. If you make a promise or even mention an opportunity, make sure you follow it through or if it’s not happening explain why in detail. There is nothing worse than being let down by your employer.
Make your teams and individual needs a priority
Your business wouldn’t exist without them so make them and their needs a priority. What do they require to succeed? and what more can you offer to assist them?
Flexible working and learning new skills are common needs to people but don’t presume you know what they want – ask them!
“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat people well enough so they don’t want to.” – Richard Branson.