INCREASE YOUR EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT, REDUCE UNNECESSARY WASTE
Engaged Employees: 32.6%
Not Engaged Employees: 50.7%
Actively Disengaged Employees: 16.7%
Employee Engagement Numbers according to Gallup’s June 2016 report.
These numbers are terrifying, as they are just averages, and could be much more depending on your specific organization. Being that each disengaged employee costs your organization thousands per year, this is an area of opportunity that cannot be ignored.
Employees do not quit jobs, they quit leaders. Your high turnover rates can be attributed to leadership which is actually great news. This is low hanging fruit, and leadership development has a positive impact on your acquisition, engagement, and retention of employees. A lot of the time leadership styles are simply out of date and are not in alignment with the needs of the current workforce. Like it or not, if your leaders aren’t being regularly developed, they will be a leading cause of employee disengagement. Are your leaders truly working towards improving your employee engagement, or are their practices causing employee disengagement?
As a manager, the job is to get things done through other people. Poor managers will leave their employees feeling used, and that is because the manager/employee relationship is a lot of the time one sided (somewhat like being married to a selfish spouse). Employees feel like their managers are selfish, and don’t care about them. Your intentions as a manager may be good, but if you aren’t constantly filling the tank of your employees, they will eventually run out of gas and quit running (at least for you).
Do you include levels of team engagement in management metrics, along with production numbers? If customer service agents are on the level of service that they provide, why isn’t the level of engagement, an area that is driven by the direct managers measured? If not, maybe this is something to consider. We often look at ‘performance’ metrics, but not ‘engagement’ metrics which is something I challenge you to consider.
The first thing you learn in marriage counseling or coaching is to not point the finger at the other person, but instead to take a look in the mirror. What can YOU do to increase the engagement of your team? Below you will find some suggestions to get you started.
SPEND 1 ON 1 TIME WITH THEM
This may take some time to get through all of your employees, but connecting with your employees 1 on 1 is crucial to increasing their level of engagement. This can be a 1-2 minute conversation just to “check in” and see how they’re doing. If it is in your budget, take 1 employee a day with you to lunch (buy their lunch for extra bonus points if your budget allows). Get to know your team. If you don’t know what to talk about, I will cover potential talking points later in this post.
Respect is so important. Think about it, would you give 120% effort to a manager that you didn’t think respected you? Maybe, but you wouldn’t be happy about it. A lot of the time managers have a lot of pressure on their shoulders, and that pressure gets passed along to their team through poor communication styles, micromanagement, and unrealistic expectations. Try showing them respect by listening to them, spending time with them, asking their opinions (you actually have to listen), and leverage their strengths when possible.
Have a 1 on 1 coaching session. If your managers aren’t trained or certified coaches this is an area of opportunity for the future, but you don’t have to be a certified or trained coach to utilize coaching techniques.
LISTEN TO THEM
Hold a Q&A where THEY are the panel and you are asking their questions on certain topics. You could even feed them for their time. Free lunch is a great way to break the ice, and get some honest feedback.
ASK THEM WHAT THEY NEED FROM YOU TO DO THEIR JOB BETTER
Grab your employees 1 by 1 and ask them if there is anything you can do to help them do their job better. Something as simple as sticky notes, or a planner may be a tool that can help them do their job better. Not every employee is the same, and the tools that they need to do their job won’t be the same either.
GIVE HONEST FEEDBACK
If you have an employee that isn’t performing, the problem may not be with that employee. They simply may not know what steps to take to improve their performance. Take some time and give them some honest feedback and suggestions on how to improve their performance. Communicate the suggestions in a respectful way, and just label it as an “area of opportunity”.
CHANGE YOUR COMMUNICATION STYLE
I have seen managers publically talk down to their employees, and it makes me cringe. That communication style is toxic and ineffective. Remember, your employees are people, and a strong communication style can make all the difference in how your employees view your relationship.
REQUIRE THEM TO EDUCATE THEMSELVES
We can all be better. Some of your employees may be in school, and you may not even know it. Even if they are not in a formal educational program, require each employee to share some relevant information with the team. Assign a different employee to share some relevant data, an interesting article, great video, or current news with the team at the beginning of each team meeting. Have your team rotate the “info share” role for each meeting. (Bonus points if you participate in the rotation as well). The only guideline is that the information they share must be relevant to the job, company, or industry. This will require your team to start getting in the habit of educating themselves, become stronger individuals as well as stronger team mates, be engaged with their team, sharpen their speaking and presenting skills, and it will also empower them.
TRY OUT THE ‘SERVE’ LEADERSHIP STYLE
Servant leadership requires you to lead through serving others. If you are a “Leader” and you are expecting others to serve you, your leadership style needs some updating. Simply try to focus your day on serving others. There is an endless number ways that you can serve others. Greet everyone with a smile when you get to the office in the morning, commit to giving 5 compliments a day, ask someone how their day is going (and actually listen), and use your social media powers for spreading good.
HIRE A CONSULTANT
There is an associated cost with this option, but outside consultants are only real option if you want an objective perspective on your engagement challenges. Some consultants will do a free initial call to evaluate your needs, and provide some suggestions to improve.
Do you have any other best practices (not mentioned here) that help you keep your team engaged?
Source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/193901/employee-engagement-steady-june.aspx?g_source=87% of employees not engaged&g_medium=search&g_campaign=tiles