Monday, December 21, 2015

Don’t Just Engage Employees, Strategically Engage Them!

Employee engagement is often a term thrown around organizations (sometimes much too loosely) with very little behind it. True engagement isn’t just a box you check on some random human resources form. It’s something that has to become part of your corporate culture and MUST be based on strategy.

You can’t just pull an I Dream of Genie, blink your eyes, and have all of your employees magically engaged. It doesn’t just happen. You have to make it happen. And that hinges on a sound strategy.

Because your employees are all individuals with different personalities and styles, there’s not a silver bullet, generic strategy to engage them. And as a great manager, it is crucial to connect the strategy to your team and each person on it. Your people need to understand how they each play a part in the big picture and why their roles are important. Why? Because how can someone be engaged if they don’t understand their specific role in achieving the collective success?

I did a little digging to see what industry folks were saying about strategic employee engagement. What I love most about this small sampling is that you get a different perspective depending on the person discussing it. While that can be frustrating in some experiences, I think it speaks to the magnitude of possibilities that exist when considering strategic engagement.

Check out these 5 tips and think about what you can pull into your own strategy for engagement!

Company leaders should never assume they have all the answers. The best employee engagement strategy is one where the organization surveys the employees at least annually, the results are shared with every manager, and in turn, each manager creates an action plan with her team members.  Kevin Kruse in Forbes

The telltale sign of low engagement at work is when most people are watching the clock, counting down the minutes until they can go home. In order to curb clock-watching and increase engagement, it is imperative to connect what you do with a higher purpose. This is important for any organization, regardless of your business's industry or service. You must know your core values, talk about them and hire by them. – Sean Kelly in Inc.

Leaders and managers should collaborate with employees to identify engagement barriers, rather than leave it solely to the top executives to figure out. After all, it is the employees who are the real experts on the company's processes and their team’s dynamic. They will have the best ideas to maximize performance, innovation and better workplace experiences.Kristin Kelley in Biz Journals

An organization’s culture plays a pivotal role in driving motivation and the relationships between employees, managers and their colleagues therefore need to be founded on trust, support and collaboration. A multi channel, planned and opportunistic, communication strategy that promotes openness and transparency will help make this possible.Fiona Reed in HCareers

In the end, employee engagement is dependent upon the company providing each employee with what they need to do their job and fulfill their true potential, while creating an environment that they want to return to each and every day.  Deb Broderson in Loyalty360

If you take away anything from this post, it should be that regardless of the components, the most important aspect to successful employee engagement is to have a strategy in place to drive it. Good luck and happy engaging!

PS – add your tip to this list on Facebook @GaryMagenta use #howiengage.


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