One harsh reality when it comes to employee engagement is that your business can be armed with a crystal-clear vision, a sharp focus and an atmosphere of responsibility and still not have high levels of employee engagement. Businesses go great places only when their employees are excited about their work and mesh well as a team. With that in mind, here are seven realities that make or break employee engagement.
Reality 1: Personal Energy Is Catching
When you smile at someone, odds are good that the person smiles back. Personal energy is contagious; passionate teachers lead to passionate students. Along these lines, even one disenchanted employee is enough to create a ripple effect of negative energy. Employees who are not engaged put off work, spend too much time on Facebook or texting friends, or take hours-long lunch breaks. To decrease the odds of such disillusionment happening in the first place, implement plans for equal compensation across the board, and ensure that employees are not asked to do busywork or filler work.
Reality 2: Not Everything Is Obvious
When you assign an employee a tremendous amount of work for the next few months or ask folks to put in overtime, including evening and weekend work, you need to explain why. The reasons may be obvious to you, but employees are not mind readers. Outline how these moves benefit both employees and the company, and never forget to include the employee benefits aspect. For instance, if your furniture manufacturing business just got a huge order and you need everyone to work one extra day per week for the next couple of months, explain that the benefits include extra pay and more job security. Express appreciation for employees’ time and willingness to boost the business. This move literally can make or break employee engagement.
Reality 3: Equal Compensation is Critical
Compensation was briefly mentioned in Reality 1 for a reason; it is one of the hugest factors to make or break employee engagement. If Sue finds out that Bob, who has the same job as her, and less education and less experience, is making more than she is, it is natural that she would become disengaged. Do not open your business up to the possibility of lawsuits or employee disengagement as far as compensation goes. Ignore the temptation to woo bright workers with lavish and unnatural salaries, and treat everyone fairly. This also goes for promotion and recognition policies. It’s hard to embrace the vision of your company when it participates in unfair practices.
Reality 4: A Thank-You Goes a Long Way
Many employees work hard for no recognition. They do not ask for a free vacation to the Bahamas; a simple, heartfelt thank you and an acknowledgement of their sacrifices go a long way. Respect employees’ time and personal lives.
Reality 5: Consistency Matters
Consistency is another key quality that can make or break employee engagement. A boss with unpredictable moods, management that demands different hours every day and ever-changing ethics and goals spell trouble for employee motivation. Try to keep your business atmosphere as stable as possible, and when you must be inconsistent, acknowledge it. For example, you could say, ïI know we went through a few days of training last month to learn how to run X technology, but I’m just really not satisfied with what the technology does. We’re not going to implement it just yet so I can gather feedback from you and the vendor on how to make the program more appropriate for our needs.ï
Reality 6: Include Employees in the Values of the Business
A business may promote itself as community-oriented and charitable, but if you slack on your values, employees notice. Instead of putting all of the ïburdenï on management, ask employees to volunteer to help promote the business values. Such activities are often great fun and give employees a break from their routines. For instance, if your business is animal-oriented, an employee might come up with the idea of a ïbring your pet to work dayï or an activity in which employees fundraise for animal charities.
Reality 7: Do as You Say
Nothing kills employee engagement more than leaders who fail to practice what they preach. Reciprocation matters. Show up on time to meetings. Give employees the attention you expect them to show you. If you ask employees to go above and beyond, you need to do just a little more. Be in the trenches with them. Share in their sacrifices. As you investigate the realities that make or break employee engagement and make all-star hires, turn to the resources here at Mighty Recruiter for assistance.