In the traditional sense, engagement is when you find someone and you get along so well you decide you’re going to spend the rest of your life with him or her, and so you decided to become engaged. Employee engagement is no different. If you want to know some drivers of employee engagement, this episode is for you.
What Is Employee Engagement
Employee engagement does not mean employee happiness. Your staff might be happy at work but they don’t necessarily mean they work hard or they are productive.
Employee engagement is also different from employee satisfaction. Your employees may be satisfied with your company policies and leadership but they might not go the extra mile on their own.
So what is employee engagement? Engaged employees have an emotional commitment to your organisation and goals. They really care about their work and your company, rather than just working for a paycheck or a promotion.
You want to make sure that your employees are engaged with the projects that they’re working on and with the company that they belong with. But how do you do that? Here are some employee engagement strategies that will surely benefit both you and your employees.
Avoid boredom and drudgery among your employees. Automate repetitive tasks!
1. Give Your Employees Work
Make sure your employees have work to do, and make sure that it shows purpose and they feel utilised. The last thing you want to do is have them become bored because when they become bored, they become distracted. When they become distracted, they’re no longer utilised and they’re disengaged.
What happens next? A whole bunch of work comes in and they start stressing out because they were just getting paid a whole bunch of money for doing nothing. You don’t want a lazy workforce. That’s why you need to keep your employees engaged by having a good flow of work.
2. Make Sure They Enjoy the Work
You don’t want to stress out your employees. You have to give them work but you have to make sure it’s work that they enjoy doing.
Don’t give someone who hates writing a task about writing, and equally, don’t ask someone to make a programme or a script for you if they love writing. Utilise your workforce so that you can keep the employees engaged and in return, they create ownership of their task.
I’ve got a fantastic team of unicorns that work with me side by side, and I ask them regularly if they are enjoying what they’re doing, if there is anything that we could change to better our processes, and how utilised they are currently. I do this so that we can work out if there are more things that they should be spending their time on.
Like a lot of industries, when it rains, it pours. We can go from having weeks where we’re doing the standard 40-hour weeks and then we jump up and we’re cruising upwards to 110-hour weeks. A lot of the time after we’ve had these huge booms, I don’t push the workload on because I want to make sure everyone’s had a bit of time to relax. No one wants to be burnt out.
That’s gone from being utilised and having a high level of engagement to being over-utilised and burnt out. The last thing you want is a staff workforce of fizzles and dead fireworks. You want everything to go off with a bang when it needs to go off.
Ask them if there are better ways for their work to be done or if there are things that they could see that could improve their workflow. Once you’ve got those two things under wrapped, make sure they have ownership of whatever it is that they’re doing because it’s going to be their life. They’re going to be consumed in it.
You want to make sure they’re interested in it, and they can see that what they’re doing is making a difference. Show them the numbers. Show them the stats. Let them see, ‘Okay, this is sweet. I’ve now created this programme or I’ve created this process or I’ve spray painted this car.’
Let them see that what they’ve done has impacted someone’s life in one way or another. Maybe it’s just your own life. Maybe it’s just impacted the bottom line. Whatever it is, make sure they can see that their work is appreciated. Make sure they are engaged. If they’re not engaged in the work that they’re doing you should shuffle them off to something else.
Automate repetitive tasks and give your employees tasks that they enjoy. Let’s talk!
3. Encourage Ideas
One of the drivers of employee engagement is to keep your staff motivated. Give them reasons to continue striving ahead.
If they come to you and say, ‘Look, I’d like to do this other project that I think would really help your business out,’ lend an ear and see how it would help out. See if we can maybe shift it around if it doesn’t fit 100% and make it a project they can work out with you.
They’ve walked a completely different path from what you had so they may come to you with a fantastic pillar of an idea. If you’re there to lend an ear and hear how it goes down, go for it.
4. Find the Right Compensation
Don’t be afraid to ask for some sort of system that they might be interested in working towards. People don’t work for the same money. Some would absolutely love money while others work for praise and want to be respected and seen for the fantastic work that they’re doing.
Some people also just cruise along and have no real motivation. They don’t really want money and they don’t really want to be noticed, making them hard to work with.
It’s always good to run with a team that is motivated towards something and discuss it with your staff. If you want to improve employee engagement, talk to your staff. Maybe you’ll find some people who really want to become a manager. Others might really want to buy that new car or something for their home or for their family.
If that is the case, you can talk about some sort of programme that you could do with them to allow for them to buy the car through work, offset their tax or whatever the situation is. That could be something that they could be working towards if that’s what they want. If they just want straight up coin, that’s something else that you can talk to them and have them work towards that.
5. A Fantastic Employee Doesn’t Equal a Fantastic Manager
If your employee wants to become a manager, that is where you may need to pull in the reigns. Fantastic employees and fantastic technical workers who are great at what they’re doing or in their craft don’t necessarily make fantastic managers.
Fantastic managers are fantastic managers. You may have an engineer who is great at problem-solving and has great people skills. He or she is able to really sink in and get a lot of appreciation out of seeing the completion of a project.
Meanwhile, a manager normally gets more interest in collaborative projects and seeing that work come together but not necessarily in working on the tools themselves.
Sometimes there are crossovers, but normally being good at tools does not necessarily mean they’re going to be a great manager. In most cases, they’re not.
It may actually be more of a slap in the face and when it comes down to talking to them about it and trying to have them re-engage now that they’re disengaged with the work that they’re doing, it’s a much harder conversation.
You need to think about the type of person and see if they are going to be the best person for the role. Do they want to become a manager for money, do they want to become a manager just because it sounds cool, or do they actually want to manage people and teams and the projects?
If they want to become a manager for the money, it’s not a problem to have the people underneath the manager getting paid more than the manager. The hierarchy of pay does not necessarily have to mean that the people who are underneath the manager get paid less than the manager.
The manager needs to know a little bit of everything about everyone on the team. Meanwhile, everyone on the team needs to know a lot about a thing or a couple of things.
I would much prefer having a super engaged, happy engineer working for me than having a disengaged engineer that was fantastic and is now managing staff members and he’s able to absolutely know every single problem and solution to everything, but he doesn’t get to put that in place and it’s disheartening. You don’t want to be in that situation.
Automate repetitive tasks to give your team new opportunities and goals. Let’s have a chat!
The Final Word
These employee engagement strategies will help you encourage emotional commitment to your business and your goals among your staff and, at the same time, keep them motivated. Give your employees work and make sure it is work that they enjoy doing. Encourage ideas and find the right compensation. Make sure you keep your employees engaged.
If your employees want to become managers because that’s what they see as the next level of pay, or the next logical conclusion in the lifeline of their career, then talk to them and say, ‘Is it just for the money?’ Because if it’s just for money then change it around.