9 Steps for Establishing Your Employee Engagement Plan

Image of employees that are engaged

How can you empower your employees, and foster trust, growth, and loyalty?

You've got the best employees on the planet, right? They work hard and are experts in their fields. But, somewhere there is a disconnect. The culture of your organisation is not everything it could be, not everything you would like. Is there a way to ensure that your employees hold to the same values you do throughout your department, or the organisation? How can you empower your employees, and foster trust, growth, and loyalty? Here are 9 ways to fully engage your employees.

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1. Inspiration From the Top

The most important thing that a leader can do to improve employee engagement is to lead by example. Employees must see the owners and executives demonstrating behaviours set forth in the company’s values. They are far more likely to emulate the respected leaders of the organisation than live by a disregarded handbook. Managers and business owners should take advantage of collaboration tools when communicating with employees. Opening up communication channels helps employees to feel more valued and inspires better communication from the bottom up.

2. Transparency

Transparency among the firm’s leadership directly correlates with employee satisfaction. Employees gain a deeper sense of investment when they are trusted with sensitive and private information. This fosters loyalty and engagement. Transparency helps alleviate the “us vs. them” philosophy and encourages trust between management and employees.

3. Shared Purpose and Vision

Employee empowerment and engagement go hand in hand. When employees know the role they play in the big picture, they are far more likely to make a significant contribution within a team, or their own projects. Allow your employees to share in the vision of the organisation.

4. Set Goals

Attainable goals can help even disconnected employees feel valued and invested in the firm’s success. Set goals for the organisation and share them with your staff. Then, trust your employees to write their own goals. Giving your people the power to decide how their contributions can help meet the company’s goals will connect their work to results, providing them with something tangible they can see.

5. Hire For Attitude

Education and experience don’t equal top performance. Experts will get it wrong eventually and the most skilled employee with fail at some point. But, attitude and personality can make up for other weaknesses. Skills can be learned, attitude cannot. Hire and promote based on attitude.

6. Engage From the Start

New employees begin with excitement, enthusiasm, and interest, so take advantage of the momentum by assisting them in getting to know their co-workers, pairing them with a mentor, and putting them straight to work on a project. By making an amazing first impression, they will be drawn to the culture and will stay excited about coming to work.

7. Create Friendships

When employees like each other, they are more willing to be engaged and collaborate on projects, as well as provide constructive feedback. When they have close bonds and developed friendships with their co-workers and teammates, they are more apt to interact both in and outside of the office.

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8. A Simple ‘Thank You’

It’s so easy, but too often goes unsaid. A simple thank you from management and among co-workers might be the fastest way to build trust, rebuild suffering relationships, and energise the office. Employees who feel appreciated and supported are 67 per cent more likely to be engaged and remain loyal to the company.

9. Volunteer Together

Companies strong in philanthropy and social responsibility see a direct relationship between doing good and increased employee engagement. Working together to help others shows that the organisation isn’t all about money, but about being a positive influence in the world. Employees can feel good about that.

At the end of the day, better employee engagement not only benefits the employee, but can help positively affect an organisation’s bottom line.

This article was originally published on Innovation Management.

About the author: Malcolm Rowlings is a freelance writer who focuses on finances, corporate training and best business practices. Those who have attended Malcolm's coaching sessions will recognise his signature tagline "Big Ideas, Bottom Lines, Better Business".