Are your employees sleeping on the job, playing Tetris like Peter Gibbons when you’re not watching, or underperforming? If so, you just might be suffering from the engagement epidemic that has been rife in the US workforce for the last few years. In fact, a study by Gallup discovered that as much as 70% of the workforce was disengaged at work. And the losses from a failure to engage employees are staggering. Not only do businesses risk higher turnover rates and the need to train new employees, but it also crushes a company’s bottom line. So let’s take a closer look at some things businesses can do to increase employee engagement.
The transparency of higher-ups and management staff helps increase employee engagement because it allows relationships of mutual trust to develop. On the other hand, keeping employees in the dark will make them feel like they are nothing more than tools or another cog in a machine, being lied to and used to increase profits. And this can feel, in a word, dehumanizing. This type of environment is detrimental to employee engagement because it creates a “employees versus management” mentality that divides your organization instead of creating unity.
Grow a Tightly-Knit and Positive Business Culture
Business culture is more critical to the success of a business than most people realize. Leaders need to make sure they foster a culture and environment that is engaging and stimulating for employees. Consider that your employees are going to spend the majority of their conscious life at work, and dreading work because of interdepartmental tiffs or social dysfunction is going to lead to disengagement and underperformance. Start by developing a business culture that makes work exciting, and expend energy trying to forge connections between different people, departments, and units of your organization. Leaders can help their team connect by volunteering together and by sponsoring fun-time when employees can enjoy each other’s company in a non-work environment.
Use Leaders as Role Models
A “do as I say, not as I do” mantra from leaders is another sure-fire way to decrease engagement from employees. In their day-to-day work life, employees need to see that leaders are living up the same expectations that are held for subordinates. Your leaders need to walk the walk to be effective role models. Believe it or not, leaders who model expectations in their work lives boost employee engagement by 55% – which is certainly nothing to sneeze at. And the more engaged an employee is in their work life, the higher the chance that they are going to choose to stay with your company. As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and employees who find happiness and fulfillment in their careers through engagement will be less tempted to find employment elsewhere.
Effectively engaging employees is easier said than done. Instead of risking high turnover rates and a deteriorating bottom line, contact John M. Ruh and Associates. Qualified consultation is only a phone call away, and we want to help fulfill the lives of your employees by increasing engagement.
Written by John Ruh
John M. Ruh and Associates are mission based business advisors who partner with growth oriented leaders to create the right P.S.T. support: the right People, the right Structure and the right Tools.