The Art of Engaging Employees
How to Keep Employees Fired Up About Their Jobs
Employee engagement doesn't have to be a complicated issue. At the foundational level, employee engagement is simply employees liking what they do and receiving value from what they do. The key work here is value. An employee may like their job, but most will, over time, want to see how what they do contributes to something larger than themselves. They want to know that their work is making a difference somewhere, somehow. And, how do they find that out? The answer goes back to that all-important, but seldom practiced nasty C-word--- COMMUNICATION.
The call of leadership
This communication must come from management and business leaders. It is up to those leading team members to communicate the how and why of a particular position. Withholding information about the direction of the business, company goals, and how those goals are attained is simply bad management. There needs to be a completely free flow of constant communication to all team members regarding the direction of the business, the course to be taken, and how the course will be followed and if and when that course will be altered. When employees have this information, they begin to understand how what they do contributes to the success of the business.
In the beginning
This open communication needs to begin before a team member is hired. Candidates for available positions should know all about the company when applying. That way there are no surprises for the new hire. Then, during orientation, the team member should be told the company history, the goals of the company, and how those goals will be reached. In addition, the new team member needs to know how what he or she is doing contributes to the reaching of company goals. There should be a clear understanding on the part of all team members how their job description is a piece of the puzzle needed to complete the picture.
Share the vision
One of the best ways to get the message to the entire team of where the company is going and how it is getting there is to share the vision, mission, and purpose of the business. Many businesses have mission, vision, and purpose statements hanging on the wall of their lobbies. Unfortunately, most of the employees of those businesses couldn't tell you what those statements say, or mean. Sure, they might have them memorized, but they are not from the heart. Successful companies make sure that they live out their mission, vision, and purpose statements. Companies like Zappos, Chick-fil-A, Midway USA, and many more make their statements part of the culture that all employees embrace and believe in.
If you want your employees more engaged in their work, begin today to open communication lines. Let team members know what is happening with the company. Share with them the financials and show them how their job is such an integral part of not only the company's success, but theirs as well. Keep an eye out for creative ways to communicate. Emails, texts, weekly meetings, company parties, and a gazillion other ways are available to you once the decision is made to commit to ongoing communication to get employees fired up about their jobs.