Instead of spending money on new hires, engaging your current employees is an investment that pays off. Leaders have a crucial role in engaging employees daily.
While you might continually look for ways to cut costs when it comes to things like marketing, customer service, inventory, and rent, it’s important to think about the fact that many businesses actually spend a lot of money, not to mention time, on finding and training new employees every year. Trying to motivate and inspire workers who clearly don’t want to be there can also be very costly for an organization.
If you want an engaged workforce with a low staff turnover rate, and a solid team that is always working cohesively, you must look to yourself and the other managers within your venture first. A positive corporate culture and effective group of employees comes from above, via good management. Read on for some things all leaders within your organization can do to engage workers today.
Related: Knowledge Sharing – The Key to Employee Engagement
Recognize and Reward Employees
One of the main ways for managers to engage employees is to regularly recognize and reward them. Staff members always want to feel like their efforts and results are being noticed, and that there is a reason for them to keep up the hard work. When managers take the time, and potentially spend the money, to appreciate their workers, people become more motivated, loyal, and likely to stay in their roles for longer.
There are numerous ways to go about acknowledging employees. For starters, don’t dismiss the value of a direct, sincere, timely thank you, either in words or writing. Telling people that you are grateful for their hard work or thanking them for the amazing results they have achieved can make them feel special in just a couple of sentences, and doesn’t cost a thing.
Alternatively, it is also beneficial to consider handing out employee awards on a regular basis to top team members who have made a real difference in the workplace. You might decide to create an Employee of the Month system; give out awards at an annual conference, company picnic, or other key event; or simply bestow awards on people whenever you think it appropriate.
Other good ways to go about recognizing and rewarding employees including promoting people or giving them additional responsibilities which will be great for their CVs; setting up free lunches, dinners, or office parties to celebrate individual or team successes; or giving workers bonuses or additional days off work. You can also reward staff members with gifts such as bottles of wine, boxes of chocolates, hampers, movie vouchers, restaurant gift certificates, pre-loaded credit or debit cards, trips away, day spa visits, and more.
Stay Current on New Management Techniques and Standards
For employees to become, and stay, engaged in their jobs, they need to feel that their bosses are good managers who are up to date when it comes to leadership techniques and human resources standards. Keep in mind that different people respond to different types of management styles, so you need to be able to adapt accordingly.
While of course most leaders have a natural style of management that they find most comfortable, sticking to just one won’t be effective all the time. Note as well that you need to stay current on the latest HR trends so that you know what employees have come to expect in the workplace, and how to cater properly to staff members from various cultures, generations and backgrounds.
Because the best managers should always be flexible and adaptable, and don’t have a mindset of “This is the way we have always done things,” they continually stay open to learning new things. A good way to stay up-to-date and increase your leadership skills is to take advanced management classes. In particular, an accredited online MBA degree, which you can fit in around your job, is worthwhile considering.
Lastly, in this digital day and age, another way managers can engage their workforce is through the increased use of technology in the workplace. With so many fantastic apps and other programs on the market now, there is simply no excuse not to make things better for employees through such tech.
As an example, lots of programs can eliminate basic frustrations for staff members and make it simpler for managers and their teams to communicate, exchange feedback, and collaborate. Cloud-based file-sharing tools like Google Drive and Dropbox are a must, as are project management tools when large teams need to be able to work on the same tasks effectively and efficiently. There are also plenty of tools which make document creation, research, online learning, financial management, and other tasks less stressful and labor intensive.
Performance management can be improved with technology, too. For example, software is available which makes it easy for leaders to get a total view of individual performance, and to therefore facilitate ongoing feedback (something that workers typically need to get to be thoroughly engaged in their jobs) as a result. Tech can also make it simpler to help employees identify personal strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and put learning and development processes in place. On a company level, it is crucial that employees also have a place to access important content that will help them succeed in their work. These are all steps which can dramatically increase the engagement levels within your teams.