People who have been in different types of work environment have probably experienced various employee engagement approaches. I, for example, have worked in a corporate office – a BPO to be exact – and now part of a growing start-up company. Although it is understandable that both worlds have different cultures, the culture that an organization creates plays a critical role as to how managers facilitate employee engagement in their teams.
It is said that high engagement would translate to a happier workforce, therefore encouraging better performance and retention.
Although we know that we can’t directly correlate good performance with engagement, we also know that happy employees are more likely to perform well in their jobs as they are intrinsically motivated to do so, and they also tend to promote the organization that they work for to others.
We cannot also take engagement to an extreme. Personally, there are other factors that would make people perform well and feel more valued in their jobs:
- Transparency from management. Whether there are changes in the organization or the company’s current status – these should always be communicated to your staff. For example, a change in the business direction should be clearly communicated to every member of the team. This would allow everyone to be onboard on whatever changes on policies or processes that may be involved in the transition. Your key stakeholders should also be involved, as they will support you as a manager in the process.
- Feeling valued. No matter how small the role of an individual contributor is, he/she is still a contributor. You, as a manager, should make them understand how their work impacts the bottom line. That they’re not just working to achieve their personal goals, but ultimately helping in achieving team objectives.
- Freedom to voice out ideas. In a traditional workplace, individual contributors don’t usually have the freedom to voice out their suggestions or feelings towards a certain subject. They may not even be empowered to try new things that would allow them to be better. As leaders, we should constantly open channels for our staff to provide feedback, share their ideas and give out suggestions on how to make your team or processes better. Allow them to even challenge status quo. Everyone wants to be heard.
There are probably a lot of factors that you can think of to promote employee engagement and create a happier workplace for your employees (whether you work in a physical office or you do your job remotely). These are just my top 3. This has worked for the team that I am part of now. They may not always be active on your social platform or participate in different activities. Employee engagement should not only be measured based on participation rate or visibility.
Some would give out great results while working in the background because they trust their leaders, they feel valued and they are free to express their thoughts.
How about you? How do you define employee engagement and how do you promote it in your workplace?