Employee engagement is one of the most overlooked, yet most important puzzle pieces to business success. Throughout the entire business hierarchy, people work better individually and as a unit once they feel engaged. As a manager, it is your job to ensure employees remain in this state without compromising your integrity or the corporate culture of the business. Here are some ideas that you can use as a manager to improve and maintain engagement within your team.
Encourage Open Discussion and Feedback
Employees are individuals first and workers after. This means that human needs require satisfaction in the context of the workplace before an employee feels satisfied. One of the major needs in the working world is the need to be heard. Managers sometimes forget that the employees on the front lines are the ones having certain experiences and developing knowledge in various situations.
While the decisions on most aspects of work ultimately falls with management, there’s no reason the management style cannot fit in the experiences and viewpoints of the staff. Fostering open discussion provides a feeling of worth to staff members as they truly feel like the business needs and values them. This can be done through one on one sessions with staff members, open departmental meetings, or genuine conversation. The work space must feel like a safe space where expression is welcome. For the benefit of those who do not enjoy open conversation, it may be a good idea to investigate a solution such as Officevibe to allow staff to communicate their opinions on organizational matters through an anonymous platform.
Know Your Team
The worst managers sit on a proverbial pedestal and pass directives to a team. They also view the team as a tool to be used to meet organizational needs. A good manager understands and appreciates the fact that the team is a grouping of individuals with stories, needs, strengths, and weaknesses that come together to achieve a shared goal.
Take the time to observe how team members interact and what scenarios make each team member comfortable. This allows developing of strengths through training and highlighting weaknesses to bring awareness, which provides the motivation to improve on those areas.
Employees can tell the difference between a manager that disregards them versus one that cares enough to take the time to become familiar with their various personalities and needs.
Allow Creative Freedom
Creative freedom is very important to employees. Very rarely is there a single approach to a task that is delegated. Where possible, allowing employees to exercise some creative control over their approach to tasks is a great way to promote engagement. It fosters a feeling of individual value and allows employees to demonstrate their creative and leadership qualities.
Micromanaging employee tasks is only needed in rare cases and should be reserved for employees that are generally unable to execute required tasks on their own. It should be noted, however, that such employees should rarely exist within the team as management is also responsible for maintaining a competent team and recommending any required alterations to the Human Resources (HR) department.
There are many things that go awry in the world of work simply because of communication breakdowns. As a manager it is important that communicating is done well for two main reasons.
The first is developing mutual respect. Employees are willing to communicate more and better with leaders who inspire and respect them. They, in turn reciprocate this respect, the are willing to communicate more, and they respond well to such managers. Be aware of pitch, tone, word choices, and associated body language.
The second is simply getting the job done. If objectives and requirements are not brought across correctly, the results are likely to be far from desirable.
Fostering engaged employees is not easy but if done well, it leads to incredible results. There are many courses available that help managers to relate well to employees, which helps to build respect and trust. Maybe it is time to take one to improve your managerial capabilities.