Today, thankfully, most companies realize the obvious correlation between engaged employees and their bottom line. Employee engagement does not imply happiness. In other words, a "happy employee" doesn't constitute an engaged employee, though it would be difficult to find an engaged employee that isn't happy.
So what does it mean then?
Employee engagement is characterized by the emotional commitment to diligently pursue the collective goals of a company, and as a result, success. Conversely, disengaged employees can quickly become toxic to the culture and end up costing the company money in the long run.
Ready to engage your own workforce? Below are four of the most effective ways leaders have seen the results they want.
Define the goal
For employees to work toward a common goal, they must first know and understand the goal. Simple enough. Yet, time and again, we find leaders who aren't able, or perhaps willing, to outline the big-picture expectations and goals of the company. To truly achieve success, companies must be transparent – almost to a fault – so team members are armed with the vision from the onset.
Acknowledge successes (and failures)
Throughout the journey of a company, there are highs and lows. While no one enjoys discussing failures, it's an important learning opportunity to evaluate what went wrong and perhaps the avenues that should have been explored instead.
And acknowledging and celebrating successes – large or small – help to build the energy within a team. With every success comes a reignited team eager to create more wins.
Give employees what they need to excel
To increase productivity, give employees the tools they need to be productive. Employees cannot be expected to produce, achieve and excel if they don't have the proper tools.
To be clear, "tools" don't just refer to gadgets and technology. Giving employees opportunities to enhance their skillsets is also incredibly beneficial. Other tools to consider include:
- Goal-setting incentives
- Time-management programs
- Leadership opportunities
- Access to knowledge-sharing
- Training resources
Garner buy-in from employees
Finally, you'll achieve success when your workers feel invested in the growth and success of your business. Your employees want to know that opportunities for upward growth are available; otherwise, they are likely to lose interest and, ultimately, look for new prospects elsewhere. Offer mentorship programs, leadership incentives and have leaders or managers that take a genuine interest in their employees.