Tip of the Week
Do your employees feel personally connected to the organization they work for? Would they recommend your workplace to others? If the answer to any of those questions is "no," you're far from alone. Employee engagement is way down, so low that a recent study found that two-thirds of the U.S. workforce is not fully engaged.
What exactly is employee engagement? Boiled down, the term means employees who are fully involved and enthusiastic about their jobs. Beyond simply being satisfied, engaged employees feel connected and committed to their coworkers and the organization where they work.
"Engagement is directly tied to productivity and loyalty," says David Fagiano, chief operating officer, Dale Carnegie Training.
Disengaged employees are 2.5 times more likely to leave their job for any level of pay increase than engaged employees. The study also found that young employees and older groups are more engaged than middle-aged people, with engagement peaking among employees who have been at their place of employment for three to five years.
Managers should be aware of the three organizational drivers of employee engagement, Fagiano says:
1. Relationship with immediate supervisor: Does this person appreciate and recognize the employee?
2. Belief in senior leadership: Do employees believe the company is headed in the right direction?
3. Pride in working for the company: Do employees feel a sense of worth when doing their jobs?
The common connection between all engaged employees is that they feel valued. Here are the four core emotions of feeling valued and how supervisors can use them to build more engaged employees, according to Dale Carnegie:
Confident: When employees feel confident, they are more productive and more likely to take on new challenges. Build confidence by giving sincere praise. Be specific about what you think they have done well in the past and reinforce it with a positive statement or suggestion about the future.
Empowered: When employees have the tools and support they need, they feel empowered. Keep an open-door policy for questions and conversation. Truly listen to what employees say. Ask them what projects they'd like to work on. Show them you genuinely care and have high expectations.
Enthusiastic: Enthusiasm is contagious. One employee who feels these emotions can spread positive energy to the entire group. Boost enthusiasm by sharing company plans for the future and be open to employee suggestions. Live by example and talk about how excited you are for future developments.
Inspired: Knowing the future is bright and there is opportunity for career growth will inspire employees. Be a mentor and a coach as well as a boss. Provide growth and development opportunities. Remove obstacles and be proactive about providing any necessary resources. Keep an open dialogue about an employee's vision for their job in the future.