HOW TO KEEP YOUR EMPLOYEES ENGAGED!
Employee engagement has been one of the top concerns for people leaders for a long time. Human resources being single largest investment for most organizations, their engagement directly translates to organizational efficiency and therefore overall success. All the investment on trainings, morale events wouldn’t yield results if the engagement is missing in the first place.
Organizations measure the engagement index using various metrics through satisfaction surveys – While there are number of ways this can be improved, most effective way is through the immediate management, who can really connect and create 2-way communication to ensure the employees deliver at their best performance & receive well deserved career rewards, while they are with the organization.
Below are few practical ways, I have seen leaders producing good results and keep teams together consistently.
Quarterly goal setting: Not so much to set work related goals, but to connect dots between organizational plans vs employee’s career aspirations.They need to know where the company going, and what’s their role in that journey. This is the time for some open talk, share feedback from both sides and re-calibrate expectations.
1 hour session to recap what was done during part 12 weeks, what is plan for next 12 weeks, what are challenges – I personally experienced this process creating clarity on execution processes and clear the air for assumptions on both sides of the table. If there is tough feedback, deliver it with humility and respect – that can work as a career-changing advice for the employee.
Remember, not everyone you have needs to be a super star, its the combination of types & levels of skills that make the team successful – of course, when worked together… But the important thing is, you & the employee needs to know exactly what he or she is good at. That’s all that matters.
Weekly check point: Weekly sync ups are great way to identify transnational issues, give incremental mentorship and guidance so that the individual feels feels you are with them in the game and are top of things.
Try and make it to 2-3 meetings a month, see where the person needs support, handle escalations, give credit where it is due – Feedback on improvement areas or appreciation, are like dairy products, they loose relevance quickly with time,so deliver them immediately. This meeting should usually take 30 mins, but you can end it in 10 mins or cancel and give the time back, in case no critical items to discuss.
Environment of “approach-ability”: My experience with most exit interviews and chats with HR partners is – employees felt there were extended periods of disconnectedness with immediate manager before employee decided to move on. And as we can imagine, the manager didn’t notice the growing gap, which is one of the reasons why he/she couldn’t control damage early enough.
Creating an environment of “approach-ability” by being available when the team needs – especially when someone drops an informal note that “can i talk to you for a sec?”, its easy to postpone these discussions saying “ok, lets talk sometime”. In my experience these “informal” discussions are most critical ones, on what the employee is thinking or going through. If you can’t have a in-person conversation due to travels or offs, try and sync up over phone. They should feel they can reach you at any point with gap of less than day or two.
Transparency & trust: Creating organization trust is a huge subject, however, transparency creates trust – and trust enables open discussions and smooth feedback system between manager and employees. Lead by example by being transparent, encourage open discussions – “lack of transparency” is in top 5 reason for employees leaving teams. Most people work for more than one company during their life time, so this experience would make their time at this company worthwhile.
The Bottom-line is, its is critical that employees and the organization understand what their strengths & weaknesses, and what are they willing to put on line for in exchange for success – Above process will enable & maximize that possibility.
Share your thoughts on what worked for you!
Best, Sree Gade