Contributed by: Luke Smith
On weekday mornings when the alarm rings, sometimes the idea of getting up and going to work is overwhelming. Seeing people at the office, attending meetings with supervisors, or wading through emails can seem daunting. It often feels as though you’re just counting down the hours until you can leave. When you lose interest and engagement, your job becomes just a paycheck. Most employees recognize that this isn’t good, and they know that something desperately needs to change.
Boosting employee engagement is one of the most powerful actions companies and the managers within them can take. Recognizing the importance of employee engagement is tied to many short and long-term benefits for both employees and the company overall. It is a key factor in achieving success.
Why Does Engagement Matter?
It may not seem like a big deal, but employee engagement plays a profound role in company success. For instance, engaged employees tend to be happier with their work. When they take pride in the work they complete, this generally means there will be a better end product with fewer costly missteps along the way.
Additionally, engaged employees are more productive when they work within a SMART goal framework. SMART goals allow them to see their successes clearly by setting objectives, which results in higher quality work. Engaged employees who care about their jobs are also more likely to build collaborative relationships with fellow employees and/or outside organizations, which can lead to even more successes down the road.
Finally, engaged employees are more likely to see work as fun and less-stressful, which can be good for their long-term health. They are less likely to experience mental health issues that come with job dissatisfaction (such as stress, anxiety, or even depression).
Now that we understand the benefits of employee engagement, how do you improve engagement within your organization? There are several ways managers can build greater engagement in the workspace. Some of them include:
- Present clearly defined company goals
- Strive to uphold company standards and codes of conduct
- Create Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely (SMART) goals for your employees
- Celebrate big and small wins
- Encourage positive company culture
- Stay in tune with employee needs
Ultimately, an effective leader can adequately increase engagement in the workplace. Supportive and friendly leaders are much more successful than overbearing, insensitive, or incompetent ones. Good managers have exceptional communication skills that set a positive tone for the work environment. They have the ability to influence their employees in a constructive way which lessens the need for micromanagement.
Employee engagement begins on the day they start the job. It’s vital that managers focus on employee development and make sure that it remains that way. In fact, employee development is an important place to begin working on improving engagement. New employees are receptive to positive office leadership and the impression created by employees who are enthusiastic and engaged. Therefore, employees must train with people who are passionate about their jobs. This will set the tone for the rest of the employee’s career.
A Stronger Office Culture
As more and more employees develop a stronger sense of loyalty to the company and can take pride in their inherent value, it can be expected that office culture will change for the better. A strong, positive company culture should be exactly what you are striving for as a manager. After all, there is nothing better than employees who are engaging with each other and building a unique and prosperous workplace.
Fostering open and transparent relationships is just one action you can take as a manager to improve company culture. Be an advocate for your employees and use your leadership role to help them achieve certain goals with management. Advocate on their behalf for regular raises, improvements in benefits, or office equipment that makes the workplace better for them.
Strong company cultures are highly sought after by many talented prospective employees. In fact, many young people today place job satisfaction, flexible scheduling, and a positive company culture above salary requirements. Although at first, it may seem as though these benefits are costing the company money, improving employee happiness, productivity, and retention will pay dividends over the coming years.
Increasing employee engagement in your office space can be the single most valuable thing you do as a manager. Building engagement can be a challenge, but working towards SMART goals and a transparent leadership style are good starting points. Ultimately, the goal is to have a strong company culture that not only keeps your employees happy, but is one that draws in valuable new talent.
About the author: Luke Smith is a freelance writer and researcher-turned blogger. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics, but technology and digital marketing topics are his favorite. When he isn’t writing, you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.