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Tips for employee engagement

7 January 2015
Written by
How’s the mood in your office right now?  Does Kevin have the post-festive blues? Is Sarah looking longingly at the empty boxes of mince pies? The first few weeks back after Christmas and the New Year can be disruptive as employees re-enter the world of work. So how do you keep employees connected when all they really want is to be back at home snacking on left-over turkey? For me, it’s about employee engagement and where previously I reflected on what causes employees to leave (thank you to everyone that took part in the conversation on LinkedIn and the blog), this time I’m thinking outside of pay and benefits.

Getting to engagement

According to Carnegie, engaged people feel valued, and people who feel they are valued are inspired, enthusiastic, empowered and confident – and incredible assets to any business.

Here’s the top three drivers for employee engagement:

1.    Satisfaction with line managers

Do employees think they’re treated fairly and honestly? Do they respect their manager and do they believe their manager respects them?   Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman were right in “First Break All the Rules...., people don’t leave bad jobs – they leave bad managers.

2.    Belief in senior leadership

Do members of the senior leadership team live the company values?  Do they behave in a way that is geared towards business success?

3.    Pride in the organisation

Do employees see the organisation’s achievements as their own?  Can they connect their contribution to the success of the business?  Does the business acknowledge success is a team effort? Disengagement = disaster Failure to focus on engaging your employees could have disastrous results – disengaged employees can lead to:
  • Low morale and motivation
  • Absenteeism
  • Guarded communication
  • Worry, fear and rumours
  • Cynical, suspicious, defensive or aggressive behaviour
So what can we, as managers, do to keep our employees connected?

Do as you would be done by

There were twenty principals discussed in the Convergence workshop I attended (and you can find fifty tips here) but I think they’re more than ideas for managers, they’re a great design for life.

20  Principles for engagement

  1. Treat as a friend
  2. Listen sincerely
  3. Honour and find merit in differences of opinion
  4. Ask – don’t tell – and be open to new ideas
  5. Be willing to negotiate and compromise
  6. Think before speaking
  7. Use inclusive language and appropriate emotions
  8. Take care of issues straight away – confidently, decisively and with authority
  9. Demonstrate integrity
  10. Remain humble – be a modest expert and defer to others expertise
  11. Adhere to a high standard of professional and ethical behaviour
  12. Refrain from mood swings
  13. Be a stellar role model – always walk the talk –
  14. Demonstrate respect, trust and faith in others 
  15. Be authentic – reveal your own thoughts and feelings
  16. Be generous, courteous, approachable and available
  17. Be realistic when communicating vision goals and outcomes
  18. Be human – accept responsibility and admit mistakes
  19. Deal directly with others – do not participate in gossip
  20. Be an advocate of your staff – focus on strengths, offer encouragement, give others credit
Ultimately, by treating others with honesty, integrity, sincerity and empathy we’re in a better position to be positively engaged in life, as well as in business. I hope that 2015 brings you a very happy and successful New Year.    

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