Wouldn’t you love to find out the secrets to employee engagement? I know I would.
Employee Engagement has been a hot topic for many years now. The internet is full of statistics and advice from an endless supply of experts.
As a new leader you will be asked to ensure your employees are engaged or to keep current employee engagement levels high. How will you do this when you are just starting out?
Having a look at what employee engagement is.. and is not, will help.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is the amount of emotional commitment staff have with their organisation and to the goals of that organisation.
What does an engaged employee look like?
You can’t see an attitude… but you can see behaviours and you can measure outputs. Engaged employees will:
- Be productive – their productivity will be consistent, every week of every month
- Be working – just has hard at the end of the week as they are at the start of the week
- Deliver – a high level of customer service each week
- Maintain – good work quality with minimal errors
- Be more careful – with reduced or no workplace accidents
Want to know what this looks like all bundled together?
Engaged employees will put in extra unrestricted effort – without being asked.
Employee engagement is not…
Many people, perhaps including your boss, think they know what an engaged employee looks like. Often, they see employees who are happy or satisfied in their roles and think they must be engaged.
If employees are happy then engagement is high right? Unfortunately, not.
Here’s why –
Happy – an employee can be happy but not engaged. Some employees are happy as they talk to others all day and do very little work – whilst getting paid good money to do so. Yep, they’re happy – but not they’re not engaged.
Satisfied – employees can be satisfied with the work they do – the people they work with… but not engaged with an emotional commitment to the organisation.
If asked by a competitor company to do similar work for them for the same salary they would likely say ‘no thanks.’ However, if that competitor offered them more money – they are likely to jump ship!
Why? They have no emotional connection to the organisation or the organisations goals.
Are you a new leader? No problem – here’s how you can ensure your employees are engaged
If you’re new to leadership or leading a new team and not sure where to start, then have a read of one of my previous posts that talks about ways to succeed in your first week as a new leader.
Like you, I have been tasked with making sure my team is highly engaged within the organisation. I quickly realised this can’t be done in my first week or month for that matter. I found out that it’s a combination of how people feel each day – and this is not always in my control.
Control what you can control
In leadership, who is the first person you need to lead?
Yep, that’s right – YOU!
It’s your internal state of mind that determines your actions and behaviours which affects how you lead others. Get your state of mind right and then you are ready to go!
Author and science journalist Daniel Goleman states –
“Leaders who are down-beat or sour shows it in their action and their team’s performance goes down.”
The result of this will see leaders who are engaged with the organisation have teams that outperform others.
Do you want to have a highly engaged team that outperforms others? I do too.
Then, do this…
- Be happy – happy people inject happiness
- Care – leaders that genuinely care evoke trust with their employees
- Walk the talk – lead by example to build strong relationships
- Offer support – get your ‘hands dirty’ when the crucial deadlines need to be met
- Collaborate – create an environment that fosters trust and collaboration
- Find your team’s purpose – people feel fulfilled when they know what they do matters and how it is linked to the organisational goals
- Praise – just say ‘thank you’ ….often
- Listen, communicate and be authentic
As a new leader, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the constant thinking about how to engage your employees.
Don’t over think it.
Focus on how you make people feel and what support you can give them to do their work.
One final thought…. Be wary of employees who feel negative emotions in the workplace. They are nearly ten times more disengaged than employees who have positive emotions – ouch!
Employee Engagement is the secret to your leadership success.
How have you engaged your employees? Let me know in the comments section below.
Keep on learning,