Employee engagement is not just a buzz word it is a vital part, or should be, of every healthy business. As I read articles, speak to clients and their prospective employees it is becoming more clear to me that so many people do not understand how to actively engage their employees. So I want to break down a few do’s and don’ts of engaging your employees and how it can impact your organization.
Have regular weekly meetings, Monday is a great day. This provides you and your employees a dedicated time to discuss both personal and professional situations. On the personal side you can all catch up after a weekend away and learn a bit more about each other. (This reduces social loafing as well, less water cooler talk means more productivity)
Have an open door policy for all employees. While many organizations have it listed in their handbook, go one step further and make sure to tell all your employees that you are available to listen at any time. Again, personal or professional should be allowed.
Schedule AND complete regular employee reviews throughout the year. Upon hire an employee should receive verbal feed back after their first week, first 30 days and first 90 days on the job. These reviews should not be a place where you, the employer, dumps all the bad onto the employee. In fact the 80/20 rule should apply to all reviews that is the employee contributes 80% of the conversation and you contribute 20%. This means you are listening 80% of the conversation and taking notes as to what is going on within the organization.
Incorporate, if possible, all employee suggestions. I know sometimes it is impossible, because the requests are impossible, however most of the time the suggestions will benefit you and the organization as a whole.
Have a written policy about when, how, and how much raises are to be expected
Communicate verbally all the time with employees
Consider alternative (non-monetary) benefits. A few examples
1/2 day Fridays
4 day work weeks
Mental Health days that don’t affect the paid sick time off
In office exercise or health programs
Informal company get togethers, during work hours
Gift card options rather than cash bonuses (let the employee choose their card)
Education or resume growing opportunities
Wait until the whole company is on fire before confronting negative situations within the organization
Discuss the company’s Money problems with employees
Take more vacations/time off than you allow your employees
Purchase outlandishly expensive items (pens, desks, clothes) when you are not regularly providing raises
Make an employee request a raise
Give a fancy title that has nothing to do with the job
Hire before you have written operations manual and a plan for training
Keep in mind you don’t have to be a perfect person to be a great employer. Help your employees know that you respect them as a human. They are not robots who should just be grateful for the pay and take all the negativity that gets heaped upon them. An empowered and engaged employee will become the company’s biggest cheerleader. They will create satisfied customers and can even bring in more customers. A disengaged employee can create a negative atmosphere which can quite literally bring down the house around you.
Are you ready to create an atmosphere that is engaging for your employees?
Contact me and let’s start the conversation.