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Ten Proven Strategies for Improving Engagement

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by on April 23, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Engaged employees are rare. Gallup’s most recent global research finds only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. According to the latest State of the American Workplace report, just 33% of employed residents in the United States are engaged at work.

Engaged workers stand apart from their not-engaged and actively disengaged counterparts because of the discretionary effort they consistently bring to their roles. These employees willingly go the extra mile, work with passion, and feel a profound connection to their company. They are the people who will drive innovation and move your business forward.

Ten Proven Ways to Increase Engagement

  1. Leaders set the tone from the top. Companies realize the most benefit from engagement initiatives when leaders weave employee engagement into performance expectations for managers and enable them to execute on those expectations.  Tip: Managers and employees must feel empowered to make a significant difference in their immediate environment.
  2. Build engagement plans with your employees. Engagement is much more effective when it is planned and has a purpose. Random engagement often has less meaning and effect thus doesn’t last very long.
  3. Discuss employee engagement at weekly meetings. 
  4. Weave engagement into daily interactions and activities and to make it part of the workplace’s DNA. Get out of your office at least once a day and spend time in your direct reports’ area. Ask questions not only about their work but their personal life. Employees feel more comfortable sharing in their area versus your office.
  5. Come to work each day with this attitude, What is something new I can teach my group or individual contributor? People want to be continuously learning new things. If they aren’t, they’ll go find a job somewhere where they will. Teach them to fish.
  6. Make a note on your Master List when you see a positive (or negative) performance issue. Praise and “constructive” critique will show you are aware of them and their efforts.
  7. Say “Thank you” often. One negative consistently noted on 360 or engagement reviews is, “My boss never says thank you when I go out of my way or above the call of duty.” Add a hello or good morning everyday and get things off to a better start.
  8. Be authentic. Develop genuine relationships with your employees and you will inspire trust and build team.
  9. Have a selective open door policy. Set up an hour each day when your door is open and have the understanding that your direct reports will get your full attention to whatever they want to talk about during that timeframe.
  10. Improve your communication. The number one engagement complaint is the lack of communication. Communicate changes, reasons, be more specific, and keep your group well informed. Lack of communication is perceived as a lack of trust. Communication is also the number one way to improve productivity.

Finally, consider doing group activities (at least once a month.) Build team outside of the office as well as inside the office. With so much at stake, shouldn’t improving engagement be at the top of your list?

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