Hey everyone have a guest post for you from Sean Conrad of Halogen Software. Enjoy
An engaged employee is a productive one — and a creative one too according to Gallup research, which says, “59 percent of the more engaged employees say that work brings out their most creative ideas, against 3 percent of the less engaged.” Additionally, Gallup and others have found that engaged employees are more productive and profitable, customer-focused and loyal to their employers.
In the game of engaged versus disengaged employees, how does your company fair? If your employee engagement levels could use a boost, here are some practical tips to help you as a leader get the job done.
Tip 1: Involve employees in goal setting
Generally speaking, most of us are more motivated to complete assignments, exceed objectives and take on new projects when we’ve had a hand in the goal-setting process. It’s no different for employees. When it comes time to set objectives, make it a collaborative process between you and your employees. A good way to make individuals feel empowered, engaged and accountable is by having them draft their own goals and development plans. As manager, you’re there to provide guidance where needed and also ensure that your employees’ goals and development plans align with organizational needs.
One of the most effective ways to write goals is to take a SMART approach to goal setting. Work with your employees to ensure that goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound so everyone on your team knows what is expected of them, how success will be measured, and when they must complete work.
TIP 2: Get to the heart of what motivates
It’s no secret that different people are motivated by different things. We also know that motivations can change over time. Do you know what makes individuals on your team tick?
One way to find out is by asking employees to complete a motivation self-assessment. The Anderson Leadership Group has a great Motivation Self-Assessment worksheet (available via this article) anyone can use to help determine primary motivators. Using the worksheet, your employees can rate and rank their need for affiliation, autonomy, intellectual stimulation, power and security/comfort.
I invite you to download this employee motivation survey and share it with your team. The results might offer some interesting insight on what inspires, motivates and interests your employees. This can encourage some valuable dialogue between you and your team members, which is great for driving higher levels of employee engagement.
TIP 3: Seriously. Have some fun.
Remember that it’s also important to inject a little fun in into the workday — yes, I said a little. There’s no need to hire a stand-up comedian, but the truth is that a good laugh can really help with washing away workplace malaise.
In fact, science tells us that laughter relaxes the body, boosts the immune system and triggers the release of endorphins (great for combating stress). When we lighten up the workplace with laughter and sprinkling of chatter, we feel more positive, optimistic and engaged.
A few ways you can add a dose of fun, fun, fun to your office include euchre tournaments, lunch-time karaoke, best-dressed cubicle contests, potluck lunches, pizza Fridays, and team-building events. You get the picture.
Influential leadership plays a role here too
Admittedly, when it comes to driving higher employee engagement, we’ve barely scratched the surface. As a leader you need to inspire your employees to do more. To improve their behavior, develop their skills and talents, work better and harder and achieve great results. Successful leaders understand the importance of influential leadership and how it impacts employee engagement.
If you’re interested in some additional resources on the topic, visit the Center of Excellence for employee engagement best-practices. The site has expert articles, white papers, case studies and more, on ways to keep your workforce engaged and productive.
Sean Conrad is a Certified Human Capital Strategist and Senior Product Analyst at Halogen Software. He writes regularly about talent management best-practices for the Halogen Software Exploring talent management blog.