According to Wikipedia, “An “engaged employee” is one who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests”. To cultivate employee engagement try the following:
- Foster open communication. In the absence of information, people fill the void with their own suppositions. Open communication of the management’s vision for the organization’s future fosters trust in leadership. Another effective tool for open communication is implementing feedback systems:
- Allow for two-way feedback. Feedback systems can be helpful in understanding the feelings of your employees to better align programs and policies to influence behaviours towards the organizational goals. It is important to keep suggestion programs or opinion surveys anonymous and to provide immediate responses to convey management’s commitment to the program – If management takes the feedback system seriously, so should the employees. Reward systems can also be implemented for such things as suggestions that improve organizational effectiveness.
- Be available. Management should have an open door policy and when meeting with employees give them their full attention
- Be consistent. Same policies and same procedures for all employees.
- Be flexible. If you cannot meet an employees needs in the usual way, consider something unconventional
- Be supportive
- Allow for shared decision-making. Decisions should be pushed down to the lowest level as possible.
- Help to develop employees. Ideally managers help employees be everything they want to be. As an alternate to the high cost of outside training, consider in-house training or a mentorship program. A career development program should include a career track or path, mobility within the organization, and discussions with employees regarding their career goals.
- Line of Sight – it is important for employees to understand how their role fits into the organization as a whole and how their work contributes to the organization’s success. This should shift an employee to focusing on working towards organizational goals and will foster a commitment to organizational success.