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Engaging Employees on Their Terms


by


How to create an “I love to work here” buzz at your business.

“Our company’s greatest asset is our people.” Owners and managers have said that for years, and it’s true to a certain extent.

But with a growing emphasis on employee efficiency and return-on-investment, workforce management has changed for good. Employers’ expectations of their staff are increasing. Individual workers’ responsibilities are more defined and measured, even as technological advances significantly increase productivity.

It is harder than ever to simply manage your employees. Most owners and managers don’t have the luxury of the extra time and money needed to recruit, hire, train and mentor new employees. That’s why it’s now more crucial than ever to retain and develop your existing team.

But how do small business owners go beyond simple employee retention to the higher level of employee engagement?

Ask and Understand

First, understand what motivates your employees not only to simply come to work every day, but to exceed expectations.

  • Why are they here? What goals are they working towards?
  • What do they like or dislike about the job, the workplace or their co-workers?
  • Do they understand their roles in the organization and how those roles align with the company’s values?

Take this opportunity, as a manager, to ask employees what they think. By understanding what is important to employees, the employer can use their input to create programs and processes that improve employee satisfaction and, ultimately, productivity.

Generating Positive Buzz

Here are five great tools that management can use to create a “why I love working here today” buzz among a company’s existing workforce.Employee training // Implement employee-specific training and development programs. This is an investment by the organization not only in the employee’s skills now, but also in their long-term value. Programs can include job-specific training, “lifestyle” educational programs on health or finances, or apprenticeship and mentoring programs.

Coaching // Make time for one-on-one meetings where managers and employees can talk about performance. Coaching offers opportunities for positive reinforcement and behavior modification.

Collaborative leadership // To build a truly engaged workforce, management must be willing to empower staff and involve them in the leadership process. Doing so could result in more employee focus, intensity and enthusiasm.

Open forum // Maintain open lines of communication. This cannot be overstated in today’s workplace, especially given the real-time usage of social media tools. Miscommunication, as well as lack of communication, allows a vacuum to occur and can often generate more mistrust.

Employee recognition // Celebrate the value of your employees to the organization. Recognize service anniversaries, birthdays, “sunshine letters” about great service and employee of the month/quarter/year honors. Sometimes, the fact that it’s Wednesday is a good enough reason to treat employees. Make it spontaneous, but make it meaningful.

Written by

Categories: HR

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