If you search for, “How can you achieve employee engagement?”, there are over 140,000,000 results. With over 25 years on the market and having worked with thousands of organizations, we can keep this post simple and save you the time it would take to sift through those results.
Employee engagement always begins with respect – respect for your workplace, your employees, your peers, your stakeholders, and your clients.
Here are 7 powerful ways to achieve employee engagement, all with a baseline of respect.
Strategic Communication: Open, transparent, and multi-directional communication processes are a cornerstone of respect. Begin with an employee survey. Listen to employees and implement meaningful changes. Provide timely feedback. Solicit feedback. Ensure that employees feel heard, and their opinions valued.
Recognition and Rewards: Pay your employees fairly for their work. Recognize employee achievements loudly and publicly across multiple forums – on the website, the organization newsletter, at team meetings, the company dashboard. Be specific about what your employee has done to improve their workplace (the treatment of a coworker, successfully launching a new product, dealing with a difficult customer). Value and respect your employees’ time.
Purpose and Meaning: Help employees connect their work to the overall mission and purpose of the organization. Regularly discuss performance goals. Connect the work (at any stage in the process) to the product and client/buyer/user. Allow your technicians, designers, engineers etc. to witness the user experience, giving employees the opportunity to see their work in action.
Empowerment and Autonomy: So many unnecessary obstacles can halt processes. And these unnecessary obstacles are often not-so-great managers. Give employees the freedom to make decisions and the resources to act on them. Empowerment means nothing without the autonomy to manage the resources given. When you allow your employees to do the job they’ve been hired to do, you’re showing them respect.
Personal and Professional Development: If your employees aren’t growing, you can be assured they’ll soon be going. Meet with each employee to create personal and professional development plans. Align these goals with opportunities at work (training sessions, mentoring, cross-department shadowing, workshops, conferences, seminars etc.). Systemize team development. Develop your talent.
Work-Life Balance: Don’t confuse busyness with effectiveness. The hustle culture and clocking hours aren’t effective business practices. Encourage a healthy work-life balance for employees. Set communication boundaries and stick to them. Do not expect employees to respond to emails or calls after hours. (Pretend smartphones and Wi-Fi don’t exist). Stagger meeting times to meet caregivers’ and working parents’ schedules. Ask employees what they need. Respect your employees’ time outside of the office or workplace.
Inclusiveness and Diversity: Create a culture of belonging and inclusion. Take a DEI survey to identify your organization’s strengths and weaknesses regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. Put real resources behind diversity initiatives. Implement family-forward work strategies. Support women with opportunities and meaningful benefits. Establish DEI metrics. Hold leaders and collaborators accountable for meeting these goals. Remember, if it matters, measure it because if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
Today, the United States and many places around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day. And we’re on board for holidays that celebrate love in all its forms. These 7 actions based on respect can be considered daily love letters to your organization and workers. By implementing these actions, your organization is on the way to achieving employee engagement.