Great Employee Engagement Starts by Asking a Lot of Questions
I am going to go out on a limb here and sum up the attitude of an unengaged employee in one statement:
“I don’t really love my work. It’s a job and I need the money.”
Now let’s stay out on the limb and exaggerate the mindset of a truly engaged employee:
“I’d pay them to work here. I love what I do!”
As a manager of people, your job is to move employees from the first attitude towards the second. We emphasize “towards the second” because your engagement goal must be reasonable and achievable. If the unengaged person is contributing at 60% of their potential, you can gain a lot of productivity by moving him or her to a contribution rate of 70-75%.
How to better engage employees?
Start by asking why they feel unengaged! Never embark on a campaign of employee engagement without diagnosing what may be the main drivers of that disengagement. Click here to open a great example of a person seeking answers on a reddit.com forum. You will see how asking questions uncovers some great ideas!
Get them to help drive the engagement bus. Employee engagement is a two-way street. The employee has to make an effort to respond to your outreach. You cannot force them to engage, you provide opportunities for them to self-engage. Indeed, the diagnosis you conduct as step one is Step One in building better engagement.
Keep at it. Engagement in the workplace is a permanent activity, not a project to complete. The culture must emphasize it and foster that two-way engagement mindset where feedback is constant and acted on.
Get your bosses on board. You can only achieve sustainable engagement if your efforts are supported by your own superiors. Share your aspirations, and your plans, and give them an active role to play in helping you reach your engagement goals.
If you are a manager who aspires to be a transformational leader, employee engagement is the core of what you do every day. Leaders lead people, not projects. Build a highly engaged team who takes initiative and stays focused without overbearing supervision and you will achieve great things this year!
What do you think? Are you a transformational leader who has embedded a highly engaged cultural mindset within your team? What has that led you to accomplish that you might not have otherwise?
Do you need hard facts from us to support our position on engagement? Would such data be useful in bringing your bosses on board? We are happy to help. Contact us here.