Are you paying attention to your employees? Your employees are the backbone of your organization and their outlook is imperative to its success. As a manager, it’s important to cultivate positive employee engagement and it’s even more critical to address issues when they’re poorly engaged.
So why is employee engagement important? Poor employee engagement can take a toll on your business, and ultimately, your career. Whether you’ve noticed (or want to prevent) an increase in turnover or negative changes in workplace behavior/attitudes, it might be time to reflect on your management style. You want to ensure the individuals who work for you are active contributors for the best possible outcomes.
When employees are exhibiting symptoms of negative engagement (e.g. withdrawal, opposition, undermining, apathy, insubordination) it’s important to understand why. Low morale, lack of enthusiasm, and disgruntled behavior can commonly be traced to organizational changes, favoritism, erratic expectations, micromanagement, manager distractedness, and burnout. However, it’s important to communicate with your employees and truly listen to why they they’re acting this way, rather than assuming, so you can take the most effective steps to resolve the negativity.
In the meantime, you can start making little changes that have big effects when it comes to improving employee engagement.
Why Employee Engagement Will Benefit Your Career & How to Do It
1. Be A Responsive Manager
Managers who recognize that individual employees have different learning styles, preferred ways of working, and needs when it comes to guidance show their teams they truly are invested in their employees. A leader who is aware of the benefits of employee engagement and the various needs of each employee can greatly increase productivity and help each employee feel like a valued member of the team. When employees feel supported and heard, they are more engaged, work more efficiently, and overall help push the business forward more effectively.
2. Create a Culture of Accountability
When employees are confident management will both reward great performance and, more importantly, hold employees accountable for poor performance, they are more satisfied and feel the effort they put in matters. Workplaces that do not take care to address poor performance is a demoralizing experience for other team members, and leads them to believe that standards of quality and consistency do not matter. Again, this will help grow productivity by incentivizing good work and reprimanding the bad. Enforcing accountability strengthens teams by encouraging members to work harder and better (with a goal in mind like promotion), and helps maximize your organization’s outputs in quality and quantity.
3. Set Clear Priorities and Expectations
While it is understandable things do not always go according to plan, many dissatisfied employees talk about shifting demands, competing priorities, and a lack of clarity on what an organization (and its employees) should be focused on. Leaders should develop clear priorities for the organization and employees, as well as a shared understanding of circumstances that would lead an organization to deviate from top priorities. For each project, there should also be defined expectations so employees can best gauge how to work. Routine consistency is key, even when projects can be unpredictable. Communicating priorities and expectations can go a long way in helping employees maintain focus and feel as though their work has meaning and purpose. It also helps avoid the need to micromanage (another common employee woe).
Bonus Recommendation: Lead with Emotional Intelligence
When you create a productive and enjoyable workplace that offers your employees a place to thrive, your business and leadership skills grow. Great leadership is paramount in establishing positive employee engagement, and one of the best ways to succeed as a leader is to assess and achieve peak performance in your Emotional Intelligence. By understanding how you function emotionally, you develop and retain your organization’s talent most effectively.
Successful leaders are genuinely invested in knowing how their workplace measures up in their employees' eyes and are committed to making relevant improvements. This can be facilitated internally or through consultants who can provide objectivity in leading an organization through that evaluation process.
If you’re looking to improve your employee engagement and ultimately, your personal leadership strategy, schedule a free preliminary consultation so we discuss the best course of action, as well as if achieving peak performance using Emotional Intelligence is right for you. At Blueprintgreen, we use the EQ-i 2.0 Emotional Intelligence Assessment and the CliftonStrengths All 34 Assessment as the fundamental components to develop effective leaders. After diving into your results, we work on custom strategies and processes through your Career Development Plan that’ll improve your relationship with your employees and your employees’ relationship with their work.