If 2017 carries on the same path that 2016 left off, then we are going to an entirely new model and facet of business management start leading the way. Why? Well, 2016 was the year that a once rarely used buzzword took over: employee engagement. It has become one of the very top issues in business and one that has become a focal point for those who run, own or have a vested interest in a business.
Of course, the term ‘employee engagement’ is open to translation, and can mean a variety of different things to different people in different sectors, but the very notion of why it is important is easy to understand. An employee that is engaged is far more productive, effective and efficient compared to an employee that isn’t.
It can be hard to quantify what makes an employee engaged, but you’ll know one when you see them. They work with a smile, they motivate others, they get tasks done, they communicate well and they represent the brand your company has aimed to demonstrate with every employee it hires.
But how does one create a more engaged workforce? That is the, sometimes, million dollar question, and the very question we hope to answer for you. So read on and enjoy.
Understanding Your Workforce
In the past couple of years, Millennials have become the majority generation in the workforce. You are bound to have heard that term by now, but if you still aren’t sure what constitutes a Millennial, it is anyone who was born between 1982 and 2004. Of course, this number is only going to rise as more and more of the prior generation retire and more and more Millennials graduate from college and start looking for work.
As such, if you are going to engage this new generation of employees, it is crucial your tailor your leadership methods to suit their wants, needs, and desires, which are very different from those in the Baby Boomer generation. While prior generations saw it as their duty to get a stable job and work their way up the ladder before retiring, Millennials are much more in tune with getting something back for their efforts.
Typically, they respond better when a company makes a more concerted effort to improve its communication policies, while also ensuring there are great atmosphere and culture in the workplace. Other trends that Millennials share is this idea of purpose and fulfillment, which is often associated with working in companies that get involved with great causes.
It Starts With Hiring Correctly
If you hire the wrong person then you are going to struggle with getting them engaged. It’s that simple. As such, it is important to always take a candidate’s personality into consideration.
Are they a good fit for the company? Sure, there may be other candidates that have more experience on paper or who achieved a better grade at college, but if they don’t fit in they won’t be engaged. Besides, skills can be taught, whereas good communication and a positive attitude cannot. That is why it is so crucial you complete a thorough background check that will allow you to get the right candidates through the door.
In short, the screening process is just an extension of your brand. Use that advice to start from the ground up, that way you will see your company nurture more engaged employees.
Feedback Is Your Friend
If your employees don’t receive regular feedback how can you expect them to be engaged. Short answer is, you can’t. By providing feedback you are showing you care and when someone feels like they are valued or cared about they instantly become more engaged.
It is simple psychology. So tell an employee when they have done a good job, and that they had a hand in bringing in some new business. Equally, tell them where they can improve, that they have a weakness in client-facing.
Employees want to improve, they want to be better people and garner new skills, so help them achieve this. It will only serve your company better if you do so.
Compassion From the Top
If you learn one thing from this article, learn that people don’t tend to quit their jobs, they tend to leave their bosses. In most jobs, work is work; it is a means of paying the bills, allowing growth and letting people afford to do what they love to do.
People leave company’s because their boss was abhorrent. Bad bosses are the reason for high staff turnaround, as is the case at companies like BYG Systems for example. It also works the others way, though. If you are an inspiring leader or employ inspiring managers, you are far more likely to create more engaged teams.
So be compassionate. Show that you understand your employees. Be authentic, lead with integrity, help those around you, arouse and inspire, take responsibility, hold others accountable, show empathy and be nice.
The Work/Life Balance
Millennials don’t like being cooped up. They don’t like having to be in the office from 8.30am to 6.30pm just for the sake of being in the office, which is why more and more companies are moving toward more flexible methods of operating. With the rise of the internet, there is less and less need for employees to go into the office all day every day.
So why make them? Offer them the chance to work from home, or leave early, so long as they work the core hours. Let them work from home for half the week. Your employees are smart enough to know that this is a privilege, and one that won’t be maintained unless they deliver on their end of the deal, which is producing good work.
As long as people keep proving this can work well, and in the favor of all parties, companies will continue to move toward this style of operating. And why wouldn’t they? More flexibility means more contentment which means better engagement. That’s a win all round.
Paula is a content strategist with a big passion for life and the pursuit of happiness. When she's not creating an eBook or tweeting the latest trends, she's probably petting a cat or watching a movie.
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