If your employees aren’t engaged, then it’s only a matter of time before something, somewhere down the line goes wrong. Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “I pay them to feel engaged.” And to a certain degree, you have a point.
Why should you worry about their level of personal engagement, right? We’re all adults here… engaged or not engaged, work better get done.
But think about it this way: you and John Smith down the street sell the same product, you have the same technology and you have the same resources. So why are you the one out back digging a hole six feet deep for your business while John Smith keeps raking in the Benjamins?
The answer is simple. John has some pretty engaged employees. He pays them well, but he treats them even better. They are the key to his success and they are the nail in your coffin.
But what exactly is an engaged employee and how do you spot one in the wild? An engaged employee feels an emotional connection to their work and the organization they belong to. They work harder and better than the average employee and demonstrate a significant degree of loyalty towards you and your company.
And on the other hand, a disengaged employee feels no emotional connection to their work or to your business. As soon as an opportunity like John Smith comes around, they snag it. Loyalty is a word they do not know when it comes to your company. And when it comes to the actual work they produce, it’s mediocre at best.
If you’re panicking about the zombie hoard at your business, I’m sure you’re wondering… what now?
Luckily, there are four key components that create an engaged employee: communication, trust, stimulation and recognition. Focus on these four areas and you’ll take the walking dead out of your office.
People should be able to come to you with both their work issues and their ‘A-Ha Moments.’ If you fail to take their problems and ideas seriously, then they won’t take you seriously. And the more they feel like they don’t have a voice in your company, the more likely they’ll jump ship when John Smith sails by.
While communication is a very important factor, your employees need to trust you even more so. They need to believe in your ability to manage that communication effectively. In other words, can you follow through with ideas, issues, complaints…? Better put, are you leading or are you just there?
There has to be some stimulating aspect of their job and their relationship with your company. Can they grow from their position? Are you giving them the tools and resources to do so? With all this growth, can they move up, take over more responsibility and become a greater influencer? People are constantly looking for new ways to grow, even if they don’t openly admit it. It’s human nature and the reason why we’re at the top of the food chain.
Everyone likes a little recognition every now and then, especially on the job. If they don’t feel like their work or their presence is worth anything, then they will go somewhere where their abilities will be appreciated and valued. If you’re thinking monetary reward, then you’re missing the point. Try emails shout-outs for employees who crush their goals or get a new certification. The simplest of gestures can make a world of difference.