As a manager, every conversation you have with an employee affects their engagement. It is undisputed that engaged employees perform better.
- Gallup studied over 2.7 million workers across 100,000 teams and has proven that higher engagement means better business outcomes.
- Bain & Company, in a very large global study, measured a productive output for inspired workers to be 225% greater than just merely satisfied employees.
- Satisfied employees are 40% more productive than disengaged employees.
- Actively disengaged employees cause, on average, 6 to 7 other employees to become disengaged.
Stop here, and ask yourself: Do I believe increasing employee engagement will have a hugely beneficial impact on my business outcomes?
If the answer is yes, then by all means, continue reading this newsletter.
#1 – You need to better understand your employees’ perceptions.
Here are some questions to think about:
- Do your employees perceive they are being treated fairly?
- Do they feel competent in their job?
- Do they understand how their role impacts the organization?
- Do they have the freedom to make decisions?
- Do they relate and feel connected to one another?
- Do they have clarity about the future of their role in your organization?
Remember, their perceptions will likely be different than how you answer these questions for them.
To get started, you need a brief survey to baseline your team. A great way to do this is to have a lunch and learn with your team and have them complete a brief pulse survey anonymously. Make sure you are able to demonstrate that it is totally anonymous.
#2 – Have frequent personal conversations with each team member.
You can now have some genuine conversations. This will help you actively engage your team members so that you can work to address their needs. As a manager, you are responsible to make sure your employees know what work needs to be done. You are also responsible to support and advocate for each one of them. Through those conversations you can improve their understanding of how their work connects to the success of the organization.
#3 – Make sure that all communications are clear, and issues are addressed.
We are living in a time where there are record-high quit rates that further complicates your management role. Make sure that you carefully implement your decisions while motivating your team to get work done. Work to ensure that organizational priorities are clear and well-communicated, particularly as changes occur.
Answer these two questions:
- In what areas of your business can you improve the clarity of your communications?
- How will you do this?
#4 Focus on your team members wellbeing.
All employees, even your engaged employees, are prone to burnout when they don’t feel their manager has a personal stake in their wellbeing. Your team members want to have open dialogue about their current job and where they would like to take their career. In 2022, given that work and life are so closely blended, it is crucial that managers address and manage employee engagement along with the five elements of wellbeing – career, social, financial, physical, and community.
- Are you able to help them thrive – well-being that is strong, consistent, and progressing? These employees tend to be happier, enjoy their work, and have less worry and stress. They are optimistic about the future.
- Do you have team members that are struggling? Their sense of well-being is inconsistent. These team members are more stressed and tend to have more sick days. Struggling team members tend to also have a negative view of the future.
- Do you have any team members that are suffering? They are negative about their current situation and negative about the future. These could be teammates going through significant life changes and are unable to mask their lack of wellbeing in the workplace.
#5 Recognize individual strengths, encourage, and provide positive feedback.
Concentrate on having higher quality, individual conversations with your team members. These should be done frequently and focus on the employee’s strengths. Your knowledge of each team member makes you the best person to adjust their work, motivate high performance, and direct them to the right resources to meet their needs.
Think about the members of your team.
- Do you know the things they do best every day?
- Where do they tend to consistently succeed?
How can you get them to gain more success? These questions will help guide your conversations with each of your team members.
The theme of this week’s newsletter is to be visible with your team and actively engage each of your teammates in conversation. Granted, there are some significant details that you will need to address to bring the above five action steps to life. However, none of these steps are overly difficult. They can easily be figured out and acted on. The most important idea is to start small and continue to build your team focusing on these action steps in small but meaningful ways.