How Leaders Improve Employee Engagement to Drive Results 10 Critical Steps

 
Updated 3/19/2018 7:20 AM
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  • JENNY MANGONE

    JENNY MANGONE

Research shows that engaged employees perform better, work harder, get better results, and are more likely to stay with an organization. Consider these steps to boost employee engagement and get the organizational results you are looking for.

Make Employee Engagement a Strategic Priority. When strategic plans are developed for organizations, priorities are usually focused on profits, efficiencies, customer service, quality, and profitability. These areas are all critical to a business, yet organizations need to add employee engagement to the list of priorities in order to realize full business success. Why? The common link in maximizing each of these priorities is people.

Ensure Leaders Are Invested. Leaders who understand the importance of employee engagement "get" why resources are allocated for this purpose. They understand engagement is a key business initiative and they take engagement seriously as they would any other business opportunity.

Be Open. If you had a choice of working for an employer who welcomed, implemented, and acknowledged your ideas, or for an employer that did not afford these same considerations, which would you choose? Be the employer that inspires innovation. You have smart, talented, and highly sought after employees, so let them share their ideas!

Give Employees Resources. You can't expect to deliver high quality products if you don't invest in materials, supplies, infrastructure, and other resources to make it happen. Consequently, you cannot expect your employees to deliver on performance expectations without the necessary resources to do their job. Ask employees what resources they need to do their jobs.

Be a Great Leader. Think for a moment about the "one" leader who truly inspired you and encouraged you be your best each day. Chances are, that individual supported you and encouraged you, and valued your ideas and contributions. Inspired employees will go above and beyond each and every day for you.

Listen and Act on Feedback. When conducting an employee engagement survey:

• Do you listen to what your employees are saying?

• Do you let employees give feedback?

• Do you make an action plan and review with employees on a regular basis?

Invest in Your People. Employees want opportunities to learn, grow, and develop. Find out what matters to your employees in terms of their own professional development.

Get Good at Communicating Often. Employees expect and appreciate ongoing communication, especially in today's work world, where teams operate in a variety of locations, both in person and online, across the globe or in the same office.

Build Relationships. We often spend more time at work than we do with our family. Recognize that relationships matter and help to create an environment of trust and transparency. Get to know your employees on a personal level.

Do Your Own Inventory. Start by having a conversation to determine what you can do to enhance employee engagement.

• Do you know what matters most to your employees?

• Do you understand the issues and/or challenges they are facing in their jobs?

• Do they feel recognized?

• Do they feel connected to the organization's mission and/or vision?

• Do they have a chance to share ideas?

• Do they have an opportunity to be at their best every day?

In order to be successful, all leaders at all levels in the organization must be invested in employee engagement.

Jenny Mangone is a human resource director at MRA -- The Management Association.

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