While a small fraction of the workforce says it is thinking of quitting at any moment, surveys have found that a large majority of the workforce is “disengaged”. They are at work, putting in the minimum to get by, but not fully engaged. An engaged workforce is more productive, creative and emotionally healthy. Here are three easy ways you can improve employee engagement, starting today.
Ask Their Opinions and Then Act on Them
Forget the suggestion box or brainstorming session once a year. Review all the ideas you’ve been given to improve the workplace and start implementing them. If you’re faced with a problem, before you rush to an outside consultant, ask your own team how things could be improved. Even better is when staff are given the authority to improve things in their own area, whether better organizing their work area or altering process flow.
Give Useful Training and Coaching
It is amazing how many workplaces assume that a new hire is ready to go as soon as all the HR paperwork is filled out. New employees should be connected with someone to ensure that they are fully on-boarded. How do they get what they need to do their jobs? Who should they ask for guidance when they aren’t sure about something? How do you get an account for every piece of software you use in the course of the day, and how do you learn how to use it? You’ll see far greater engagement from new hires when they feel supported in their integration into the team.
Offering training that upgrades one’s skills so they are suitable for higher positions dramatically increases engagement. If the company wants to see even greater engagement and increase in productivity, pay for continuing education outside of the workplace. For example, the company’s benefits program paying an employee’s tuition for an executive leadership masters online is training a future manager, while requiring the person to work for the company for several more years to pay back that favor.
Apply Lean Principles to Everything
One way to improve employee engagement is to ask employees for their input on what to streamline. You can start small. What company rules and regulations could be removed today and dramatically increase productivity, assuming the rule isn’t required for legal compliance or public safety? Then eliminate the rule. Employees see that management isn’t just asking for advice but taking it. They feel empowered and start giving more feedback on ways to improve the organization. A good masters in executive leadership should discuss multiple process improvement methodologies that teach you how to make systematic small improvements while making sure you sustain the gains with each change.
Employee engagement can be improved pretty quickly if you use the proper procedures. Start by providing useful training to new hires and existing employees so that they are better able to do their jobs and move into better ones. Ask employees their opinions and then heed them. And try to streamline work processes so that procedures don’t become hindrances to getting work done.
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