ARE YOUR LEADERS SWITCHED ON TO THE IMPORTANCE OF EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT?
In a world of transparency, where employees and ex-employees can anonymously post their feelings about their company or ex company on sites such as glassdoor.com, it has never been more important to foster great employee engagement to support your brand as a great employer.
High levels of employee engagement increase productivity and performance and fuel successful organisations by enabling them to recruit and retain top talent.
The leadership of your business plays a key role in employee engagement.
Here are 10 key areas that successful leaders use to engage employees and improve performance:
1. SHARED VALUES. Clear organisational values that are backed up by leadership actions engage employees at every level improving business performance.
2. SHARED VISION. Organisations with a clear inspiring vision statement regularly communicated by the leaders connects employees to why the organisations exists and helps to inspire high engagement and performance.
3. EMPLOYEES PLAYING TO THEIR STRENGTHS. Research shows that one of the biggest factors affecting employee engagement is ensuring your employees have roles that play to their natural strengths and talents.
4. LEADERSHIP STYLE. Some of the key leadership traits that play a key role in engagement include an open, honest and engaging leadership style. Most important of all is to trust the abilities of your employees and give them the space and autonomy to freely express themselves in their job roles.
5. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE IN LEADERS. Successful leaders have high emotional intelligence, i.e. they monitor their own and others' feelings and emotions and use the information to guide their thinking and actions. Leaders with high emotional intelligence recognise the importance of engagement, naturally notice when it’s out of balance and intuitively know how to fix it.
6. COMPETITION. Healthy competition can stimulate team performance but successful leaders recognise this needs to be balanced with an overall focus on the organisational success versus purely individual and team success.
7. COLLABORATION AND TEAM SPIRIT. Do you cultivate collaboration so that teamwork can flourish? There is a clear link between healthy collaboration and a great team spirit and employee engagement.
8. INCENTIVISE GREAT RESULTS. A great way to engage individuals is to incentivise great results and consistently celebrate successes of all kinds.
9. CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT. Successful organisations with high employee engagement listen to their employees (the eyes and ears of the business) to improve the company’s performance and brand. If suggestions and criticism are stifled from flowing up the organisational structure this can create a culture of fear, which is the antithesis of employee engagement.
10. FLEXIBLE WORKING. Supporting employees with flexible working allows employees to have a greater balance in work and life. Employees really value this balance and in turn will go that extra mile for the organisation.
As with all things worth investing time into, these areas require work to put them in place and focus to continually assess and evolve them. Mastering these basics of good leadership will set the stage for an engaged workforce.
Dr Elisabeth Philipps PhD