There are many reasons you should work toward team development, but none are more important than the need for employee engagement. Nothing is more crucial to your company’s success than having a staff that’s fully engaged in their daily work. And although employee engagement is actually a two-way street, you won’t get the most out of your people until you take care of your end of the bargain.
Needless to say, employee engagement doesn’t happen by accident or just because you want it to. It’s up to you and your management team to bring it about. The response of any given staff member is always difficult to predict, but the only way you can maximize employee engagement is by design. Here are four tips for increasing employee engagement.
1. Make Employee Engagement an Ongoing Priority
This is the most important factor in driving employee engagement. We’ll get to the specifics in a moment, but the first truth you need to understand is a general one. Your efforts to drive employee engagement can’t be something you just do occasionally. They have to be part of an ongoing project. Otherwise, it’s not really employee engagement and the results will be nil.
Remember– employee engagement is an approach and an attitude, as well as a set of practices. The specific practices can and must change over time, but the ‘engagement attitude’ has to be a constant. It has to inform everything that you say, do, and implement in the workplace. If the engagement attitude is active, then the necessary practices will reveal themselves over time.
2. Personalize The Workplace Experience
It’s a simple fact of human nature– no one wants to feel like a cog in the proverbial machine. People need to feel valued and respected as individuals, not just as a means of production. And while there’s certainly no need to baby them, treating your staff like the unique individuals that they are is imperative.
The key here is being as responsive as you can to their individual needs. Managers should adapt to their staff members’ respective communication styles, for instance. They should also be respectful, clear, and courteous at all times. Just as importantly, managers should recognize both individual and group accomplishments in a prearranged manner. Additionally, any coaching or discipline that management needs to dole out must always be objective and solution-oriented.
3. Practice Business Transparency
Your staff needs to know what to expect to be fully engaged. They need to know what their roles are and how specific behaviors will be rewarded. They also need to understand your company’s vision for the future. This is why business transparency is crucial to maximum efficiency, employee happiness, and productivity.
Communicate your short and long-term goals clearly for best results. Communicate your business strategy to your staff as well, including regular progress reports and advance notice regarding any changes. These practices mark only the beginning of business transparency, but they’ll still go a long way toward engaging your staff.
4. Team Development and Employee Engagement
There’s an intimate relationship between team development and high levels of employee engagement. This holds true whether you’re referring to professional team building workshops or to everyday practice. People are more efficient when they work as a team, period. Teamwork not only creates a high-functioning division of labor, it also provides extra motivation and a much-needed spike in morale.
Employee engagement is an explicit goal of most professional team development workshops, but the lessons they teach have to be emphasized consistently for maximum effect. The reason for this is simple. Practiced consistently, team development inevitably builds on itself over time and increases employee engagement. The end result is a reciprocal relationship. Teamwork increases employee engagement and vice versa. And once this cycle becomes active, your staff will soar to new heights of contentment and productivity.