Cultivating an Engaged Workforce in Five Easy Steps

We’ve all heard it, “your employees are your greatest asset” – both for the health of your company and the success of your business. And at a higher level, as an enterprise leader, you realize the need for employees that are fully engaged and collaborative.  The evidence supporting the need for Employee engagement is there –  companies in the top percentiles of employee engagement outperformed their competitors 10 percent in customer ratings, 22 percent in profitability and 21 percent in productivity.  Perhaps even more importantly, companies with high levels of employee engagement see less employee turnover.

Clearly higher employee engagement means increased productivity and less costly employee turnover –  but how do you really get there and turn the engagement conversation from just talk to true action?  Here are some of our favorite tips:

Just Ask.

Invite honest and authentic input from your people. They’re the beating hearts of your company and are likely in the know.  They can clue you in to the reasons behind your engagement woes and share thoughts on how to fix it. They just need to be asked – in the right way – and feel comfortable sharing their feedback.

It Starts at the Top.

Or as the Russians like to say, “Da fish rot from da head!”

“Walking the walk” is really the best employee engagement strategy that anyone can suggest and it’s a Must Do in our opinion. Employees must see their company leadership demonstrating (nay, living) the characteristics and behaviors everyone else is being asked to display. In companies where leaders model the desired behavior, employees are 55 percent more engaged, 53 percent more focused and more likely to stay at the company.

Be Transparent.

Management transparency has a direct 94 percent correlation with employee happiness. Trusting employees with sensitive information gives them a sense of deeper investment in the company and helps to create a more cooperative team atmosphere, as opposed to an “us versus them” perception of the management-employee relationship.

Meaning & Purpose.

Help employees find meaning in the work they do. This doesn’t have to be some higher purpose like saving the Manatees, or curing the world of poverty and hunger. It can simply be contributing to a quality product or service for their customers, something that makes a real impact and difference in daily lives. It can even be supporting their teammates. It is critical that you communicate the value of the organization’s purpose, it’s mission and how their daily efforts contribute to those goals.” As Guy Kawasaki likes to say, “Make Meaning”.  (Check out this great video on how to craft your Mantra).

Saying “Thank You.”

Yes, it’s a simple thing.  Saying thank you (and meaning it).  Yet, so many company leaders overlook this – especially in large organizations. Recognition and acknowledgement by management is a surefire way to build trust and energize the workplace. Employees with supportive supervisors are 1.3 times more likely to stay with the company and are 67 percent more engaged.

Photo Cred: Dane Rude