It is not difficult to identify the engaged workers. They look visibly happy at the workplace, are willing to put in extra effort and are passionate about their work. However, the employees who are not engaged, are not that easy to identify. Their lack of motivation and passion is not very visible externally. They simply go about doing the work assigned to them mechanically. They care little for performance, excellence, quality and team spirit.
If a major part of the workforce comprises such people, the organisation can bid farewell to success and productivity!
Time for managers to rise to the occasion! Since they are the ones heading the teams, they are the ones who know them best, provided they themselves essay their leadership role properly.
There are ways in which managers can measure their employees’ engagement levels, and take corrective action if they are found lacking.
• Accept that each individual is different. Your team will have people with different personalities and different expectations. Each person will have a different potential. But each one of them deserves respect. Give this respect to them the moment they join. By doing so, you will win their loyalty from day one.
• Employees have potential beyond the role they play at work. It is this potential that needs to be tapped. And by doing so, you will let your employees know that you value their talents, unique skills and beliefs. This will make them feel a part of the organisation.
• As a manager, know each of you employees really well. This can only happen through interaction — regular interaction, not just related to work but informal and casual interaction too. This gives you an insight into each employee’s interests, their likes and dislikes, opinions, feedback, and so on. Over time, such interactions help you earn the trust of the employees, making you approachable. An approachable manager is a huge criterion for employee to stay loyal.
• Rely on a proper employee-engagement survey and collect relevant data. Merely collecting information and feedback and not acting upon it will make employees lose their trust in you. So, make sure to follow up. While taking employees’ feedback, it is only fair to ensure that some action is also taken.
• If you really want to bring about a positive change, start at the local level. Lead by example, only then will the team follow. Ensure the change you want, in your immediate environment first. It will automatically get applied across the organisation with time.
• Take ideas and suggestions from the employees. Involve the team in everything. This will not only make them feel wanted, but will instill a sense of belongingness, not just to the company, but whatever it is that they are working on. Over time, this practice of taking ideas from employees will encourage them to think out of the box, be innovative and increase productivity. This will go on to become an accepted culture in the organisation in the long run.
• Understand that your success depends on the performance and achievement of your team. So be concerned about the success of each of your team members. Make it your duty to understand each team member’s individual strengths and give each one the opportunity to use that strength in a positive manner, for their own growth and for the larger good of the team and the organisation. Provide your employees the power and authority required for them to excel
• Identify and train a successor. Ensure that there is always a person talented and experienced enough to step into your shoes if need be. Share your knowledge and expertise. Sharing what you know is only going to help you grow and ensure that there are talented successors ready to take over when you more up.
• Learn to be accountable for your actions. If you do not fear taking responsibility, those under you will automatically learn to be accountable. Being accountable makes each individual responsible for his actions. This helps the employees learn, develop and mature in their roles. Growth in any company is a big draw for employees. It is the most important factor in controlling attrition.
• Set realistic and short-term engagement goals. Make your employees taste success. Let them know the advantages of success. This will keep them engaged. Give them meaningful goals to achieve. Discuss these with them at regular meetingsand ensure that they never lose sight of these personal goals of success.
• Align your employee engagement activities with the larger goal of the organistion. Monitor the progress and ensure that your best practices are shared across the organisation. Use all available communication channels to reinforce and recognise the company’s commitment to employee engagement. IT should become part of the company’s culture. People should seek a place in the organisation because of the reputation of its employee engagement practices.
As a manager, help those working under you to yearn to return to work every morning! That is the best way to measure the success of your employee engagement efforts.
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