Employee Engagement: 5 Ways to Ignite Your Staff

How to engage employeesDepending on the research you read, about 30% of employees are actively engaged in their work on a regular basis.  Some recent studies show that employee engagement has decreased significantly over the last five years in both the United States and the United Kingdom.  Why is this?  While several factors are to blame, failure to pay close attention to—and manage– what actually drives passion, involvement, and loyalty heads the list.

Lack of full engagement across the board is like a poison being injected into your organization via IV drip.  Little by little you notice a negative impact upon individual and team performance, interest in achieving established objectives, overall productivity, quality of customer/client service, talent retention, and the financial bottom line.  Quite a price to pay, isn’t it?

Use the recommendations in my feature article below as the catalyst for turning around your own employee engagement frustrations.  My goal is not to scare you, but ignoring or minimizing the problem is a fast and sure way to career destruction and organizational disaster.  I can’t imagine you want that.

To enjoy the benefits of actively engaged staff you’ve got to make several different types of investments.  Here are five that I view as nonnegotiable:

Resources

Plan to invest dollars into developing and growing each employee.  Stagnant staff jump ship eventually.  According to the Society of Human Resource Management, replacing one $8 per hour employee costs more than $3,500.

Time

Schedule regular staff meetings, both individual and group.  Investing some of your precious time into coaching people, providing feedback, and helping them to understand the larger picture yields an attractive ROI.

Empathy

Whatever your technical skills and experiences, they alone are not enough to actively engage human beings.  You must show appropriate empathy when situations call for it.  Make it a point to stop by someone’s work space to express concern for her sick child.

Trust

This can be challenging.  It’s not easy to believe and assume that folks will do their jobs well by the deadline established.  And yet, if you’ve given them what they need to succeed, you must demonstrate reasonable trust.  This investment—above all others–is the silver lining in your relationships.

Culture

Because most people spend more time at work than anywhere else, isn’t it wise to invest in the organizational “living room?”  Consciously create a culture that celebrates communication, encourages learning, and rewards innovation. 

 What ways do you motivate staff?

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