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How to Get Your Employees More Engaged

There’s a scary statistic out there: 70% of employees are not engaged at work, according to Gallup. That means 70% of employees are not productive, not emotionally committed to the company’s end goals, and not happy showing up every day.

For your business, that’s troubling.

If the bulk of your employees aren’t putting their best effort toward helping your company move ahead, you’re suffering. You’re sucking your growth potential dry simply by having a disengaged workforce.

What can you do to re-engage your team and make sure new hires come in with engagement-guns blazing? Here are 10 ways.

How to Get Your Employees More Engaged

#1. Start Off Strong

Engagement starts the minute you say, “you’re hired!” The way you onboard your employees sets the tone for how well they’ll be treated at your business. The better job you do up front, the more productive and engaged they’ll be later on. Start the new relationship off strong by setting up a strong onboarding process. Here are a few must-include elements:

  1. Give them something tangible to take home and review
  2. Define specific goals for your employees
  3. Connect him with an in-office support network
  4. Set expectations up front
  5. Offer feedback, even in the training phase

#2. Lead by Example

“Do as I say; not as I do” is not a leadership strategy. Your team is looking to you to understand what’s acceptable in the workplace and what isn’t. If you’re not practicing what you preach, employees will stop listening and disengage from your business.

Leading by example means actively engaging in the ways you want your team to engage. This has been proven to be an effective way to get your team invested in your business’s success. If you model the behavior you want from your team, your employees are likely to be 55% more engaged and 53% more focused.

#3. Be Clear When Defining Your Expectations

Perhaps your employees aren’t engaging because they don’t know how to engage. Perhaps your employees are working toward a goal that’s different than your company’s end goals. This disconnect can make it so your team isn’t as engaged as they could be.

This is perhaps the simplest of shifts. Clarifying expectations of your employees makes it easier for them to strive toward a common goal. Schedule one-on-one meetings with each of your employees to get on the same page. Don’t treat it as a performance review, but rather a discussion. The more open and transparent you can be, the easier it is for your employee to understand what you want from them, and then execute on that.

#4. Mind Your Manners

Ever heard the expression, “people who feel appreciated will always do more than is expected of them?” It’s true.

Engagement can erode over time simply because an employee doesn’t feel her efforts go noticed. If she doesn’t hear “thank you” often enough, she won’t feel as if her work matters.

A simple gesture of appreciation goes a long way. Acknowledge hard work and a job well done and you’re more likely to have a team of engaged employees backing your firm. Ignore your team’s efforts and your team will ignore your big picture goals.

#5. Be Flexible

Although engagement helps your team work toward a common end goal, your team has a life outside of work. They have commitments to their health, family, and hobbies.

Give them the flexibility in their schedule or work location to honor those commitments outside of work, and when they do show up for their shift, they’ll be more likely to be fully engaged with your business.

#6. Shed Light on Important Matters

How involved is your team in making decisions? How much do they know about what goes on behind-the-scenes?

The more you can include your team on important company matters, such as marketing strategies, operations, and even finances, the easier it’ll be for them to see how their role impacts the greater good of the company. That’s a great way to help them feel connected and motivated.

#7. Let Your Hair Down

Companies that play together, stay together. Teams that participate in activities away from the office bond in a unique way. That bond often translates into a closer connection in the workplace too. When the team is well-connected, they’re more likely to band together as a strong force working toward the greater good of your business.

Organize times outside of the office for the team to get together. Happy hours on Fridays, volunteer gigs on the weekends, or mid-week brunch dates with fellow team members can help your employees feel more excited about the work they do with your business, and thus, more engaged.

#8. Tackle Tough Jobs Together

Sometimes, you’ll need a few extra hands on deck to take on tough tasks. This won’t be fun work, but it’ll be necessary work. Don’t risk losing employee engagement by trying to pretend the job will be fun or easy. Address it head on, then roll up your sleeves and get in the trenches with them to the extent you can.

Trying to portray a tough job as easy will only make you look dishonest. The minute your employees lose trust in you and your firm is the minute they disengage. Be forthcoming about what you need, even when it’s not exciting or enjoyable.

#9. Reward Your Team

Giving gifts is another way to say thank you for your hard work. Holiday gifts, birthday gifts, or other types of gifts can brighten an employee’s day and instantly reinvigorate them to working hard to help your company grow.

#10. Break Free From the Office

If you notice morale taking a nosedive, take a trip out of the office. This can mean taking a demotivated employee on a sales call with you or bringing them off-site for a tour of another branch. The goal is to give your employee a change of scenery, which can breathe new life into his workday.

Are Your Employees Engaged?

If you’re seeing increased absenteeism, poor performance, or increased levels of conflict, you might have a disengaged office. Use these tips to help your team reconnect with the end goal and reinvest emotionally in your business’s success.

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Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine's Top 500 Software Companies 2004-2007 and again in 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2016. http://www.schedulebase.com

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