Are your employees satisfied or engaged? As a business owner or manager, you had better know the difference between the two. Your employees may be satisfied at work because they are happily doing the bare minimum to keep you off their backs, but that’s not the same as being engaged. Engaged employees are the passionate ones who happily put in extra time when needed, are enthusiastic about the projects they are working on and are the most positive employees you could ever have! They love their work, they care about the results they create, they feel appreciated, and believe they make a meaningful contribution to the growth of the company.
According to Gallup, only 29% of employees feel that way, so if the remaining 71% of your workforce doesn’t really care about the success of your company, how much better would your financial results be if everyone were engaged? I don’t have an exact number, but I can tell you that Gallup reports that businesses lose billions of dollars annually to disengaged employees. In fact, several researchers report that engaged employees produce more, and cost a lot less than their disengaged counterparts. They even play a significant role in building customer loyalty.
So how can you create a work environment that is conducive to building employee engagement? Here are some areas to work on to get you started.
On-Boarding: No one is more enthusiastic about their job than the new hire is in the first two weeks of employment. Sadly, a lot of employers do not have or implement an effective orientation program, and the great attitude goes south almost immediately! A lot of companies train very badly, and then wonder why it is so difficult to find good people.
Mission Vision and Values: All employees should be aware of how their role is tied to the mission, vision and values of your organization. Most companies make the drastic mistake of ensuring only the management team is connected to the goals of the organization. The reality is, every single employee has the power to affect the direction of the business whether he cleans the floors, answers the phones, or develops strategy. What are you telling the receptionist about his/her importance to the company when they have no input and no real idea about the direction of the business? How does that message affect the people he/she comes into contact with?
You can be sure a percentage of customers are being driven away because of it!
Integrity: People like to be led by people who have integrity. Managers who have illicit affairs, steal from the company, or treat people unfairly are never respected. Lack of respect for the boss translates into apathetic employees, i.e. disengagement. As a leader, you must demonstrate that you are trustworthy, reliable, fair minded and unselfish. If you can master that, then you are well on your way to creating an engaged workforce!
Connectedness: Build positive relationships with everyone you work with. Taking the time to actually talk to your employees and co-workers is extremely important. Demonstrating that you value your relationships at work tells people that you also value their contribution. Don’t forget to actually tell people how much you appreciate their efforts, though. That’s part of building relationships and those simple words will pay off exponentially!
Flexibility: All companies have policies and procedures that must be adhered to, but ask yourself where you could afford to be flexible with these. For example, flexibility with scheduling, working from home, and time off may benefit your company more than you think. By taking a little pressure off your employees, you will likely secure their commitment to you and foster pride in the company. Evaluate where you would like more flexibility in your work and offer the same to your employees.
Remember, no one goes to work looking for ways to mess up. Humans inherently want to do a good job and to be recognized as valuable contributors to society. Take advantage of that fact and turn your business into a profit machine!
Renée Cormier is the President and owner of POWERHOUSE CONFERENCES, a company dedicated to working with people to produce better business results. Renée has spent the last 11 years as a training and development professional. She uses her experience in Business and Adult Education to develop and implement training programs that will provide her clients with business results that positively impact the bottom line! Clients say her learning sessions are lively, engaging and valuable. Renée can be reached by email at email@example.com
Visit Renée's blog: http://reneecormier.wordpress.com