To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace – Douglas R. Conant, former Fortune 500 CEO
No matter what the economy, engaging your employees is key to energizing a high-performing workforce. An engaged employee is not simply a happy one. At a good company, even the lowest performing employees can be content.
Engaged employees are emotionally committed to their organization’s goals and values. They truly care about the company and the work they perform. They are motivated to contribute to the organization’s success and take the right action to advance its interests and reputation.
Each day, they give their best, not just for the money or a promotion. They give their best because they have a desire to make things better. Highly engaged employees generate higher-quality results.
Engaged employees contribute to better business outcomes.
Shrewd businesses have a culture of employee engagement. However, many companies do not. They think it’s too hard to implement or they don’t know where to start.
So how do you attract, retain, and even build engaged employees to achieve the business outcomes you desire?
Here is how I have successfully implemented employee engagement programs.
Establish Leadership Buy-in
Management often makes the mistake of assuming that a team or individual understands the organization’s goals. Therefore, leadership must first clarify goals and objectives. Next, they must ensure each team or employee knows what their role is in accomplishing that goal. Organizations can only improve business outcomes with leadership buy-in and employee awareness.
Empower Employees to Do Their Best
Once you have established goals and assigned responsibilities, allow your employees to do their jobs. Give them the authority to make informed decisions. Allow them to take the necessary action to achieve results. Encourage self-improvement. Provide training opportunities. Support the sharing and implementation of ideas. Promote from within. When you do, you’ll gain the long-term support of a passionate, engaged, and responsive workforce.
Determine What Drives Motivation
For truly engaged employees, it is rarely about the money. The benefit they receive goes beyond a paycheck. Having owned and operated businesses in distribution, sales, retail, and manufacturing, I’ve found that these high achievers are driven by three basic incentives:
- Healthy Competition – Highly engaged employees need a challenging work environment. They want to go the extra mile and tend to create environments of healthy competition, even if they are only competing to improve themselves.
- Ego – Employees want to feel like their contributions are important to the overall success of the company. Honoring the employee with an award or recognition helps accomplish this. You’ll also find that targeted and sincere verbal praise goes a long way too.
- Opportunity – Some employees have a more altruistic nature. The opportunity to serve more customers, give more value, and help others succeed is one of the most significant motivators these employees can receive.
Successfully engaging your employees leads to successful outcomes in your organization.
Win the workplace…and you’ll win the marketplace!
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