Whether you run a small accounting firm or a bustling warehouse, one of the biggest needs for any employer is to keep their employees satisfied in their jobs and engaged with the work they do. However, while these two issues might seem to have a lot of overlap, satisfaction isn't engagement, per se. One could think of satisfaction as being "OK" with a work situation, but engagement as wanting to continually take their job one step beyond.
With that in mind, employers may be wondering how to take their workforce from satisfied to more actively engaged. The following five tips might help:
1) Define clear goals for the organization
While you undoubtedly have some goals in mind for both your organization and employees, those workers might not see how their own ability to hit deadlines and meet expectations play into the big picture, according to Proofhub. But when supervisors or executives are clear about what every worker hitting those goals means for the company, they may be more willing to get their work done as quickly as possible so they can help the company succeed on an ongoing basis.
2) Ask for feedback regularly
One common symptom of worker disengagement is they feel their own concerns about the job or how they're being managed simply aren't being heard, Proofhub added. As a consequence, it's not enough to have regular reviews of employee performance, but also give them an opportunity to be open about how they feel a supervisor could make their jobs easier. Making the ability to meet goals more of a two-way street is key to boosting engagement.
3) Give them opportunities for growth and advancement
Another classic hallmark of employee disengagement is when they feel they've advanced as far as they reasonably can with the company, and are no longer being challenged, according to Inc., magazine. With that said, even if you don't really have plans to promote them based on their current skill sets or qualifications, giving them the opportunity to seek additional training on company time, or picking up the tab for additional education, could help them feel more engaged in short order.
4) Become a more active coach
Along similar lines, although most employees don't like to be micro-managed or feel the boss is always looking over their shoulder, if you can become more of an encouraging presence as they complete their daily tasks, it could be a big help, according to eSkill. While you don't have to sacrifice the role of continually asking for more or better output, you should do so in a positive way on a regular basis.
5) Give them a reason to buy in
Finally, employees may often feel disengaged if they think they're undervalued or don't see enough of the company's success reflected in their daily work, eSkill advised. With that in mind, providing incentives - be they "just because" gifts or rewards for a successful quarter - in addition to continually offering workers the opportunity to earn more money or get better benefits, will help to keep them in the fold for longer.