Across the nation, research has shown that only three out of ten employees are actively engaged. These three employees are the ones who strive to go above and beyond what is asked of them, who plan to stay with your business. These are your advocates with your customers and in the community. But this leaves seven out of ten of your employees who are either ambivalent (going through the motions) or actively dis-engaged (rooting against your business’s success).
So how can we engage employees? How can we increase those three engaged employees to four, five or even higher? How much more successful could your business become if one more employee was actively engaged?
Actions taken to improve employee engagement will vary by company, organization size and culture. But there are certain things all companies with highly engaged employees do on a regular basis.
1. They listen to their employees. Engagement surveys or feedback mechanisms allow employees to provide their perspective on what’s occurring, what positively drives their behavior and what doesn’t. It also provides organizations with a way to determine what might be different by role, by performance group or other key factor.
2. They continually express appreciation. Employees’ contributions aren’t always grandiose gestures, but often small ones such as covering for an employee who was sick or going the extra mile for a customer who needed assistance. Great companies acknowledge those efforts. Consider a hand-penned note when an employee goes above and beyond or a free lunch when an employee provides an innovative idea. What else might be meaningful to employees in your organization?
3. They communicate! If you don’t explain the “why” to your employees, they will fill in the blanks and often inaccurately. Employees need to understand what’s expected of them and how these expectations are critical to the success of the organization. Remember: everyone likes to feel part of something and creating this sense of collaboration is easier when communication channels are clear.
Are you ready to engage your employees? Start by listening to what they have to say.