Engagement is the intellectual and emotional inspiration that an employee feels in an organization, which propels them to always do their best at their job. It is also a state of mind that encourages employees to want not only to remain in the same workplace but also recommend it to their friends and family as a great place to work.
When your employees are engaged, they are more productive and your business is made stronger and more profitable, as a result. Your employees also become your most important ambassadors of your company’s brand. Engage them and keep them engaged and it will be tough for you to fail.
Engagement is not a one-time deal. “If you aren’t always moving it forward, you’ll end up slipping back,” says Peter Mayne, Director of Culture and Engagement from Farm Credit Canada. Farm Credit Canada scores more than 80% every year on their engagement survey, as established by Hewitt’s Engagement model.
Treat employees the way you’d like to be treated.
The beginning of employee engagement is in how well you treat them.
Most employees want to be treated fairly, with respect and with understanding.This statement doesn’t necessarily mean giving pay raises; pay is often lower on the scale of priorities for employees than other areas such as career development, benefits, management behaviour and good communications.
Instead, employees want to be thanked, included, encouraged and to be afforded flexibility in times of difficulty. If an employee is going through a difficult time at home with a sick child or a troubling financial situation, a small amount of flexibility can go a long way towards keeping that employee engaged.
Organizations may struggle with making sure employees are treated well for a number of reasons:
- Not having policies, procedures and programs in place.
- Not making sure all managers are on board.
- The leadership team not leading by example.
- Focusing too hard on the immediate/short-term bottom-line.
- Not being flexible and open to avoid the impression of favouritism.
Still, reaching out to your employee, saying good morning and making eye contact with them, asking about their family are all small ways to engage and connect with employees that demonstrates respect and humanity. We can't expect policy to take care of that for us.