3 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement and Productivity
Once upon a time, when we were all trying to grasp what employee engagement really meant; sending out a survey and asking employees “what they wanted”, mostly lead to false promises.
Sending out that survey is still important of course however, following up on the information received is paramount if we want to create engaged employees and improve productivity.
Poor management and a lack of direction can and will lead to a disengaged workforce or worse, a team of individuals not reaching anything other than being a step closer to burnout.
Yes, you’re trying all you can with the resources at hand to adapt and create the change your employees want to see, hoping and wishing that it will increase employee engagement. But are you utilizing your potential in the best way possible to get results? Are there areas that you have been missing, that could potentially increase this possibility?
1. Listen Attentively To Feedback
One question to begin asking would be: has your company dedicated time to take action on the feedback that was received? If not, what was the point of the survey in the first place? Why haven’t any of the suggestions been considered?
Why haven’t we tried to engage employees on new levels and let them know that their voice was heard, not only during a survey but on a daily basis?
Consider the delivery of the survey – should the survey be anonymous?
On that note, Chris Cancialosi at Forbes suggests that sometimes anonymous surveys can do more harm than good.
Knowledge gathered is only valuable once used. Employees often suffer from survey fatigue – when an employer continues to seek information from their employees in an effort to show they care, yet, none of the information is turned into action.
From that moment on, the survey has been more counterproductive than anything as the team loses faith in the prospect of a different future and continue to feel unheard and undervalued in their opinion.
If a survey or opinion is requested from employees, ensure that it is considered, engaged with or followed up on with the source, rather than letting it sit too long in a dusty suggestion box. Even if that change can’t be implemented immediately, it at least shows signs of progress, the hope of change and consideration of an opinion.
2. Get To Know Your Team
To improve productivity, further focus needs to be centered around the bigger picture. Does your team really know why their job is important? And, how is their ‘view’ of the company aligned to the company’s values? or is it at all?
Do they sometimes feel like they are just a cog in the machine – not going anywhere particularly fast without a vision for progress or change? If this is the case, then one-on-one, personalized coaching is a great option to help them understand how they are valued.
Take the time to get to know the team individually, know their goals, their personal life, their plans – that way you can try to make your company part of their future plans rather than a stepping stone to something else.
Provide a way for them to use other skills that they feel are undervalued or help them discover pathways to progress in their career. Taking 15 minutes can go a long way to identifying where employees are becoming disengaged.
3. Hire Better Leaders
If you are a little further up the ladder, you will no doubt have a team of managers. Are they providing management information that is useful to you? or is it simply what they think you want to hear?
Are they engaged in their role? How do their values align with the overall company values? Are they disengaged themselves? A disengaged manager represents a significant danger to any business.
This disengagement will transfer down the line, resulting in a lack of direction, care, and engagement, causing havoc in your team – without you even knowing. This of course will snowball and now one disengaged manager becomes a disengaged team.
Engaged employees will almost always have an engaged manager they report to. They are more approachable than those higher up and are the person that they deal with directly should they have any issues or suggestions.
If your managers are unapproachable, lacking communication skills and are becoming disengaged it may be time to breathe some new life into your team with someone who has the necessary leadership qualities.
Investing more time in the hiring process to ensure they have the qualities that are needed to lead an engaged and productive team is a critical foundation to build your business upon.
Conclusion – The Best Result For All
When voices are heard and goals are being reached – an engaged workforce will lead to a more productive business.
Continue to keep the lines of communication open, set goals for the information you collect and share the outcomes and how they relate to the success of the business.