Effective Employee Engagement Is Really About Great Management
What do we mean when we talk about employee engagement? It's certainly a current buzz phrase and we are often asked, "Tell us the secret - give us your top tips".
People are looking for the magic solution - provide them with a new incentive scheme, have an employee of the month award - suddenly they will all be more engaged. And it's true, all of these have a role in improving staff productivity.
It's About The Day To Day
what really matters to people is the way in which they are made to feel about their job day to dayBut the reality is, you don't get the best out of people with organisational level gestures - for what really matters to people is the way in which they are made to feel about their job day to day. This all comes down to great management.
Engaged staff are those who feel listened to, are given a chance to have a say in what and how they do things, are clear what's expected of them and how they add value and are then regularly acknowledged and appreciated for it and - most important of all - are allowed to get on with things without being micro-managed or the fear of repercussion if something goes wrong.
I often ask managers how often they talk to their staff. Not via email or in a group but whether in person or via Zoom. All too often the answer is, "when I need something doing urgently", or "when someone has done something wrong".
Importance Of Regular Meaningful 1-1 Conversations
Forget your clever employee engagement strategy if the only time someone is spoken to is on one of those two occasions. For that's not effective employee engagement but poor management that is guaranteed to lead to a disillusioned and demotivated workforce.
We know it's manically busy working in PR and communications, so it can be a real challenge to find dedicated time to focus on staff - but this doesn't have to take up hours in a manager's day. And the time invested upfront will reap massive reward down the line.
The Daily 3 Minute Chats
when you tell someone they are appreciated and explain why, they will surprise you by doing more than you expectedSo try encouraging all your managers to abide by the "3 minutes a day conversation". The purpose is to genuinely engage 1-1 with each member of staff for at least a few minutes a day, to give them your undivided attention and to actively listen to what they have to say.
Ensure the team member has been thanked for something specific they have done and told why it has been valued. For when you tell someone they are appreciated and explain why, they will surprise you by doing more than you expected in return.
Empower And Let Go
So managers need to stop defaulting to telling people what to do and how to do it, then chastising them when they do it wrong - but instead empower people to show you what they are capable of and let them get on and do it!
Now that's the real power of effective employee engagement.