"When leaders throughout an organization take an active, genuine interest in the people they manage, when they invest real time to understand employees at a fundamental level, they create a climate for greater morale, loyalty, and yes, growth." - Patrick Lencioni
This is the distilled essence of employee engagement in one sentence. In simple terms, to create an organization that is engaged, leaders have to:
Genuinely care about their employees
Invest time to understand their people's needs
Understand the factors that help them thrive
Develop strategies to help them give their best
One study found that low employee engagement tends to cost companies between 450-500 billion USD each year.
Employee engagement is a critical factor that affects the success and growth of an organization. However, despite the importance of employee engagement, many organizations struggle to create a work environment that fosters engagement and commitment. This is where effective employee engagement strategies come in. By implementing the right strategies, organizations can improve employee engagement and create a positive workplace culture that benefits everyone.
Employee engagement is not created by something that you do once in a short while. To sustain engagement at work, it is important to develop a culture of employee engagement. This is a workplace culture that fosters a sense of community, purpose, and fulfillment for employees, which in turn leads to increased productivity, job satisfaction, and commitment.
Three strategies you can utilize to boost employee engagement in your organisation
1. Employee Recognition from the Organization and Peers
This can involve regularly acknowledging and valuing employees for their hard work, accomplishments, and positive contributions to the organization. Feeling overworked and underappreciated seems to be the most common reason why employees feel disengaged at the workplace.
It is important to develop a culture of peer-to-peer recognition. This is when employees themselves develop a habit of praising the good work of each other. Peer recognition helps to increase employee engagement by creating a sense of community and teamwork. When employees feel supported and appreciated by their peers, they are more likely to feel engaged and committed to their work.
Sometimes due to managing a large team, leaders or managers might not be able to notice the efforts put in by every single person. Here peer to peer recognition works wonders. This can reinforce positive behaviors and contributions, helping to promote a culture of appreciation within the organization. One could come up with creative ways to implement this program based on the needs and resources of the organisation.
Overall, even simple recognition programs can help to boost employee engagement by showing employees that their hard work is appreciated and valued by the organization.
2. Make their Progress in Career and Life a Priority
It is important to talk to employees about their professional and personal growth in the organisation. It shows that their manager cares about them and is willing to provide any mentorship opportunities the employee might require.
Offering career advancement opportunities can help to retain talented employees who might otherwise leave the organization in search of better opportunities. This can help to reduce the cost of turnover and ensure that the organization retains a skilled and experienced workforce.
A Career Development program is a structured approach to helping employees improve their skills, knowledge, and expertise. These programs are designed to support employees in achieving their career goals, while also benefiting the organization by creating a skilled and talented workforce.
A mentorship program that pairs experienced employees with newer employees who can benefit from their guidance, advice, and support can be helpful to develop job satisfaction and increase motivation at work. The program can be designed to meet the specific needs and goals of the employees and can be structured in various ways, such as one-on-one mentorship, group mentorship, or peer mentoring.
3. Develop Human-Centric Leaders
Developing good leadership skills is the key to creating employee engagement at the workplace. Leaders can be a role-model and embody qualities such as empathy and kindness towards their fellow colleagues. Human-Centric leaders are also able to create psychological safety at the workplace and develop a sense of belonging among the team members. They also provide constructive and timely feedback to the employees for their development and growth.
Managers are the leaders of their teams, and they need to possess strong human-centric leadership skills to succeed. Employees are more likely to leave an organization if they feel that their manager is ineffective or does not provide the support they need. It could be overwhelming for managers at times to manage the requirements of team members. Which is also a reason why they need to build capabilities to be able to take care of their mental health while dealing with challenging situations.
A human-centric leader is someone who puts the needs and well-being of their people first. They believe that employees are the most important asset of any organization, and they are committed to creating a workplace where everyone feels valued, respected, and supported.
Human-centric leaders are typically very empathetic and understanding. They are able to see things from their employees' perspectives, and they are always willing to listen to their concerns. They are also good at creating a sense of community within their teams, and they are always looking for ways to improve the work environment.
Here are some of the characteristics of a human-centric leader:
Empathy: They are able to understand and share the feelings of others.
Communication: They are clear and concise communicators who are able to build trust and rapport with their employees.
Inclusion: They create an environment where everyone feels valued and respected, regardless of their background or beliefs.
Trust: They create an environment where employees feel comfortable taking risks and sharing their ideas.
Development: They are committed to the professional development of their employees and they provide them with opportunities to learn and grow.
Human-centric leaders are becoming increasingly important in today's workplace. As the world becomes more complex and demanding, it is more important than ever to have leaders who are able to connect with their employees and create a positive work environment.
The strategies to boost employee engagement should be designed to create a positive work environment, foster a sense of community and purpose, provide opportunities for growth and development, and show employees that they are valued and supported. By investing in employee engagement, organizations can improve employee satisfaction, retention, and performance, ultimately leading to increased success and profitability.
Bonus Content: Watch Ron Carucci on How to be a Human Centered Leader in Times of Financial Crisis