Management Matters

Engaging Employees at the Workplace

Date Posted: 02/23/2016

Engaging Employees at the Workplace

Engaging employees at the workplace is about getting them ‘emotionally’ involved in achieving a common goal that would motivate them enough to do more than what is routinely expected of them. It is hinged on establishing a culture that propels everyone to give themselves fully to the organization.

An engaged work group is key to an organization’s success, and it amounts to nothing but changing employees’ attitude where they genuinely wish the best for the organization, take ownership of their action and invest their best for the common good.

This ideal seems impossible for many organizations only because they do not have a focused program for staff engagement. The current status of global employee engagement reveals most organizations fail to capitalize on human resources by ignoring simple elements that could get much more out of their employees. Note the difference between employees with mediocre productivity standards and those that are truly committed to excellence is considerable.

To better utilize human resources through improved engagement both at the supervisory and the organizational levels, here are some ideas to consider:

Treasure them.
To make engagement initiatives work, managers must learn to value their subordinates. They should forge a relationship founded on mutual trust. If the employee sees the manager as approachable, sincere, and that he or she genuinely care about them, they will reciprocate accordingly.

Manage careers.
Managers should not only oversee subordinates in terms of work output but also how their career is progressing. If managers create a ”thinking-for-improvement” environment with opportunity for intellectual stimulation, it will inspire employees to give more of themselves to the organization. Everyone seeks interesting ways of doing something, and the manager must provide avenues for this. Protecting staff from redundancy goes a long way in building a mutually beneficial bond.

Ensure clarity of vision.
The essence of engaging employees is clear communication. This aligns goals and brings everyone to the same page. Communicating the organization’s vision to employees properly is essential for them to understand the purpose and value of their work. Lack thereof results in confusion, wasted labor, and frustration.

Spell out expectations.
Managers must state clearly what they expect from employees to properly enable them. They must also provide continuous feedback to juniors with regards to their function, citing specific examples for reference.

Recognize achievements.
Acknowledging individual successes with encouragement and appreciation will motivate people to do better than expected. Recognizing and praising good performance ensure greater commitment.

Make them feel involved.
Managers who make everyone understand how they contribute to the greater good enables subordinates to appreciate their involvement in the process.

Allow freedom.
Managers should satisfy an employees’ need to have a sense of control over their activities.  They should allow them enough elbow room to work in their own style and pace. Good managers fulfill this need by allowing flexibility and letting work become an enjoyable process and not just a chore.

Stimulate collaborative effort.
Managers must exemplify the benefits of collaborative teamwork. They should engender and foster an environment of interdependence without unhealthy competitiveness.

Maintain ethics.
Effective managers always act fairly, and without prejudice. This will earn the respect of employees. Enforcing ethical standards will persuade juniors to take pride in the organization they work for. Such pride will create confidence and they will be induced to invest more to the organization.

Dispel subjectivity.
However good a manager you may be, if your decision making is subjective, your credibility will suffer and you will lose the trust of your employees.

Recognize abilities.
Managers should keenly observe their employees to know who is good at what role. Shuffling subordinates to positions where they could contribute best will prove beneficial to an organization.  Employees produce better results doing what they like. Empower staff with discretionary options to stimulate responsible enterprise.

Credit them.
The manager’s glory is a result of his or her subordinates’ success. So sharing part of the glory with subordinates instead of hogging the limelight alone will be depriving them of the feel-good stimulant that drives people.  Staff will be enthusiastically supportive and engaged if you share success and forgive their mistakes.

Be consistent.
It’s very important for a manager to not evade responsibility when something goes wrong. Your courage to admit mistakes will be much appreciated, and you will gain respect for it as well. Wriggling out of wrong decisions on the other hand, will make you look small before your staff and shake their allegiance and belief  in you.

It is noteworthy that friction between managers and staff is perhaps the biggest stumbling block for engagement in the workplace.

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