If you want a thriving business, then you need highly motivated and engaged employees. However, having a workforce full of these types of people is a dream for most employees. Unfortunately, employees come in many shapes and sizes, and if you are not careful, one bad egg can disrupt the whole workforce.
Employee engagement basically allows you to monitor, measure, and manage your staff and ensure that they are aware of the priorities of their role and the importance of it in the grand scheme of things. If you have engaged employees, then they are more productive and motivated. As a business owner, it is up to you to create motivational strategies to ensure that your staff is as effective and efficient as they can be. If you get this right, you can increase revenue which will make you more competitive, and that will benefit everyone in the business.
Create Purpose and Meaning
You may well be under the illusion that happiness is the driving force towards higher employee engagement. However, although this is true to an extend, creating a purpose and meaning for your staff is far more effective. It may well be more difficult to create happiness, but you can create meaning and purpose. Think about why you are in business? What were the problems in society that you aimed to solve?
If you have created a brand for your business, you may well have already gone through this process. Your brand incorporates your philosophy of business, with core values, ethics, etc., you will have thought about a vision or the purpose of your company too. This is something that you need to relate to your staff. If you can properly communicate a vision that your staff can agree with, believe in, and help with, this is a very powerful motivational tool. One way to communicate a vision is to discuss it at regular team meetings. Find out how your staff feels about it and if they can suggest any way you can reach your goal better. When you employ new staff, you need to make this vision clear in the onboarding process. That way, you can be sure to employ only people who share your vision. Having a team of like-minded people all working together for a single purpose is where you need to be.
Clearly, the meaning and purpose of your brand is a great foundation for your culture. However, it needs to go further. Open and honest communication needs to be an aspect of many spheres, not just your visions. If someone has an idea about how to make a process easier, you need a space for them to communicate it. Additionally, you want your staff to feel safe secure, and if there are any issues, it is important that they are raised before they become tantamount to poison. Remember, you don’t want anyone feeling bad and voiceless, as this can negatively disrupt your team as a whole. Lead by example, get you to know your staff’s names and remember something personal about each of them.
Consider employee wellness as a priority and offer various wellness programs as well as opportunities to connect socially with other members of the business. A great culture and atmosphere is something that can be felt. It should offer your staff the ability to relax and feel valued, but also want them to strive and succeed. Do not mistake the feeling of comfort with a strong culture, as in many ways, too much comfort can lead to a lack of innovation, etc.
If you do not already have a reward program, it is time you created one. Rewards are the best way to appreciate hard work. You cannot allow your staff members who go above and beyond to wilt away. You need to praise their hard world and give them rewards for it. There are so many ways you can show your appreciation, from speaking to them personally and offering some kind of gift. Have a reward ceremony where the whole team can see that you appreciate hard work. You can offer alternative work too, and even promote as a result of this. There is also the chance to offer performance-related pay rises. Why not get employee rewards software so your staff can pick their own rewards? One thing you need to remember is that the more recognition you give and the better the rewards, the more motivated your team will be to be productive. Also, consider things like employee of the month and most improved employee. Not everyone is at the same level and appreciating improvement is also a great way to boost productivity.
A strong leader always commands respect. This does not mean you have to be a tyrant but what it does mean is that you need to stay on top of any problem employees and find ways to discipline or even sack them. Generally speaking, you will know who the bad eggs are, and the last thing you should do is placate them, as this will affect the rest of your staff. You need to create well-documented evidence of their progress, or rather their lack of progress, and if they consistently do not live up to expectations, have a lot of time off sick, have a negative effect on the rest of the team, etc., you need to show them the door. If you have evidence of their problems and the measures you have put in place to help them, then you will have grounds to get rid of them. This also is a warning to other potentially disruptive employees, which definitely works in your favor.
Do not micromanage every aspect of your business, as this can be detrimental to your staff. They need a certain level of autonomy in order to thrive and succeed. Giving some power to your staff also will make them feel more valued. By doing this, you are showing a certain level of trust too, and trust is important in producing employee loyalty.