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How to Increase Employee Engagement in the Workplace?

Employee engagement is sometimes perceived as a challenge in the workplace. As a manager, you ought to make sure that your employees feel passionate about their jobs and are motivated to come every day and give their best every day. Maybe employee engagement is not such a tricky phenomenon. Just remember that a disengaged employee would do more harm than good when it comes to the reputation of the organization.  

As a manager, you may need to follow certain strategies apart from your existing methods for employee engagement. It might become difficult sometimes to understand your employees because each one of them is unique in their own way. They come from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. In such a scenario, you might as well tailor your methods to suit the needs of the employee and the organization. 

In this article, let us look at some of the tricks through which you can increase employee engagement in the workplace: 

Provide them some autonomy 

This is the first trick towards increasing employee engagement in the workplace. Sometimes, as a manager, you might have the urge to make sure that everything is in order. But this does not mean that you pester your employees in such a way that they have difficulty in adjusting to your expectations. You may feel that it is necessary for you to guide them constantly in order to get the work done. But employees may perceive it as meddling relentlessly.  

In this case, maybe it is not such a bad idea to trust them a little and give them some autonomy while they are doing their job. When employees get that amount of freedom, it will become easier for them to adjust to the work schedules and work better. When you are being rigid, it will cause a lack of motivation and they might just want to get done with their work. Replace your rigidity with flexibility, your employees would be a lot more productive that way. 

Community service 

One of the core aspects of employee engagement is that you need to remember that your employees are human beings and not robots. They need to have some relaxation and do something productive outside the corporate 9 to 6 time frames. You can introduce some group outings and community service-learning activities twice or thrice a year. Stimulate the idea that your organization does not only aim to make profits but also help the community. 

Corporate social responsibility is not just a maxim for corporate companies. It is one of the best strategies for employee engagement. You can organize team volunteering activities; your employees can indulge in pro bono work for charitable organizations and they can earn credits rewards through that. When you encourage your employees to get involved in community service, you are telling them that they are making a difference in the world. 

Transparency in Communication 

Transparency is very important in employee engagement. Managers need to be very straightforward in your communication. The one problem in employee engagement is the lack of proper communication. Most employees often feel that managers are not invested in them and are not being honest and upfront in their communication or feedback. You can increase employee engagement by creating a culture of continuous feedback.  

Continuous feedback is very important to employee engagement because it builds trust. Employees would then feel like they are working in a firm that has high ethical standards. Be clear about your company’s vision and mission and keep them updated about the current trends in your company. For effective employee engagement, communication needs to be a two-way street. While you are giving top-down feedback, you also need to solicit feedback from your employees. 

Additionally, you can even foster a 360-feedback mechanism so that you have self and peer evaluation as well. Apart from this, soliciting feedback from external stakeholders can help employees understand where they stand in terms of their work. This will make them realize that they are being included and valued. It will improve team collaboration and they will be motivated to perform better. 

Elucidate their roles and responsibilities 

One of the challenges in effective employee engagement is that many employees are not aware of what is expected out of them. In such a situation, they will not be able to meet the objectives of their organizations because they don’t know what their goals are. In order to practice employee engagement, it becomes the manager’s responsibility to communicate clearly employee job roles and responsibilities. 

Managers must take responsibility for setting employee goals and manage those goals. It is also important that you encourage your employees to set their own goals. A lot of managers do not take the initiative to do this. Therefore, set your expectations clearly, hold your employees accountable for they do and address their needs if they face issues while performing their tasks. Remember that even you are equally accountable for your employees’ performance. 

When I say employee engagement, it is not only confined to the employee just knowing his job description. It is also about employees getting to know their performance standards. You need to assist your employees in prioritizing their tasks. Communicate to them the difference they are making in the organization. This way, employees understand their performance and what is expected out of them to fulfill business needs.    

Improve their surroundings 

To practice employee engagement effectively, it is not just important to cultivate internal mechanisms for engagement, but you also need to examine what an employee’s external circumstances are. Organizations ought to make sure that their external conditions and physical surroundings are comfortable. This is a basic need for every organization.  

Imagine yourself working in a small-scale garment factory surrounded by employees who work in a dark and depressing environment. The lights are broken, and the fans/air conditioning is not functioning especially during the summer. On top of it, there is an awful smell that lingers in the workplace. How can someone work in such an environment? Therefore, you need to ensure that the workplace surroundings are comfortable. Having a promising environment can increase employee engagement in your workplace. 

Here is how you can improve the conditions in the workplace. Make the workplace comfortable and cheerful. Improve the lighting in your workplace. Have a room where employees can take a break in between and play some table tennis and 8 Ball pool. For working mothers, you can introduce daycare facilities in your workplace so they can work peacefully without having to worry about their kids. Do your best to help your employees. The little things go a long way for effective employee engagement. 

Strengthen their self-confidence 

In order to build employee engagement in your workplace, you ought to treat your employees with respect. You need to connect with your employees on an individual level and lend an ear to their problems. Sometimes, employees feel very reserved to speak out in the open due to various reasons. When you listen to them carefully, you can identify situations with a lack of self-confidence.  

Tell them that they are such amazing performers and they can accomplish anything. The words you choose are powerful enough to impact your employees. So, choose them wisely. When you say, ‘you have potential’, it is going to fall flat. So, while you are giving them appreciation, substantiate it with examples of what they did, that made a difference to the organization. Give them challenging tasks and motivate them with their previously accomplished tasks. 

Identify the best abilities and the skills that your employees possess. Encourage them to share it with others. When they interact with their peers, their self-confidence would improve. Let them make mistakes. Most employees who have a lack of self-confidence tend to become withdrawn even with the smallest mistake they make. So, encourage them to learn from their mistakes. Ask them to fail forward. This ensures better employee engagement in your organization. 

Become a workplace life coach 

Now we are not talking about becoming a therapist or counselor for your employee. To improve employee engagement in the workplace, you need to encourage your employees to identify and work on their professional issues. This does not mean that you give them unsolicited advice. The key is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your employees. For instance, if you have assigned them a project, you need to help them analyze their current circumstances. 

Help them come out of their limiting belief systems, and other potential issues and obstacles that they face while working on the project. Try to come up with developmental strategies to help them focus and achieve the outcomes of the project. Suggest training or courses that require to build or improve their skill set required for the job. Have a kind of creative partnership between you and your employees. This also fosters employee engagement in the workplace.

Therefore, your job is to create a vision, modify and manage their goals, encourage decision making and personal development, create developmental strategies for them to grow and make them accountable for what they do to increase productivity and engagement. All your practices maximize your employee’s potential. 

Foster leadership and team development 

Leadership and team development are important for employee engagement. It enables better communication as the activities that you conduct facilitates discussions. This increases the relationship between the employees and the productivity in their performance. Inculcating leadership and team development can motivate employees. Employees will become comfortable with discussing their ideas and it will build their self-confidence. 

Team building develops their problem-solving skills and creativity. They will be strategically able to formulate solutions in case a crisis occurs. Leadership and team development in the workplace ensure better employee engagement as it breaks the barrier between the manager and the employees. When you become a leader, employees would perceive you more as a colleague than as someone who is superior to them.  

Express your gratitude 

Employees strive to get recognition. They always want to ensure that their contributions have meaning in the workplace. It is always better to let your employees know how much their work matters to you and the organization. Your employees would then be enthusiastic about their job and perform well. This is again a key aspect of employee engagement. Their work becomes a lot more meaningful when they receive recognition and rewards from a manager or team leader.  

Now, in order to express your gratitude, you don’t have to buy them expensive gifts or give them a pay raise. Just acknowledge the work that they do and say, ‘thank you’. Give them credits wherever necessary and let the other employees know who is being recognized and for what. Expressing your gratitude can go a long way and it is a very thoughtful thing to do.   

Build trust 

For effective employee engagement, you need to be a reliable manager. For that, you need to earn the trust of your employees. This can only happen through transparent communication practices and continuous feedback and updates. Provide them support during their toughest times.

Be open to criticism and be honest with your communication. Tell them how changes made by you can impact them. This way you can establish your trust. Because the last thing you want to know is your employees doing the bare minimum at work to keep their job. 

Conclusion 

The tricks to increase employee engagement are not that complicated. You just need to be upfront about everything and have an honest conversation. Ask them questions and address their issues in the workplace. Your behavior and actions influence them. If you want to engage your employees, you must build that trust and trust them.  

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