Employee engagement and its importance
It’s likely you’ve heard of employee engagement. This fundamental metric for measuring the relationship between business and employee has quickly become a top approach for ensuring productivity and success within the company. Though engagement in one’s job is a novel idea, some companies struggle to get it right because of the output required each day. But boosting it can actually increase productivity, so it’s critical you have managers that build employee engagement from day one.
Why middle management is so important
According to research from TINYpulse on employee engagement, “middle managers — the non-HR and non-C-suite leaders — often are the cornerstones of employee engagement efforts and hold considerable decision-making power and influence with employees.” Middle managers build employee engagement from the ground. They are in the weeds with the employees and can see and report areas where new processes may enhance engagement. Middle managers also take employee concerns more seriously. They can build rapport, and they know if talent leaves, it will hurt their team.
Developing managers who build employee engagement
To develop managers who will become your superheroes of employee engagement, start by empowering them to create conditions of engagement. Not all decisions need approval. If there are small areas they can incentivize or encourage employees to participate at a higher rate, give them the authority to make those decisions. Set clear guidelines on what needs approval and what doesn’t, and don’t forget to allow a small budget should they wish to take their team to lunch or bring in donuts.
Building employee engagement from day one
You can build employee engagement starting on day one of the job. Consider doing one of the following:
- Assign a welcome group or mentor who meets with the new employee to discuss goals within the company and provide lunch on the first day.
- Give talent a purpose within the job by learning what is important to the new employee. Perhaps she is a strong supporter of the environment and wants to be involved in recycling. Or maybe he loves cooking for people and can join or start a holiday potluck committee.
- Avoid information overload during onboarding. New employees don’t need to meet everyone all at once. Introduce them to the people they will interact with the most, but let the rest happen later or naturally.
- Ensure your training is up-to-date and effective. Employees need to understand who they are working for, what they are doing, and why they are doing it. It is also a time for them to build bonds with co-workers, and co-worker bonds have proven to be a driver of employee engagement.
What others are doing:
Crack the code of employee engagement and discover additional ways to encourage passion in your workplace with these models from other top companies.
- Promote Discourse: Offer your employees opportunities to talk like REI’s “company campfire” which encourages discourse and takes cues from what their employees say.
- Be Thankful: Take a cue from DHL who puts extraordinary effort into thanking its employees through monetary rewards, notes of appreciation, and a big, Hollywood-style event where top performers are honored.
- Prove the Possibilities:D. Anderson Cancer Center delivers a stellar mentoring program to their employees that proves professional growth is available on all levels, not just at the top.
- Connect to the Community: Follow Cummins’ lead by engaging employees in community projects like river clean-up, adopting a highway, working in a community garden, or helping build houses.
Using a program like ProcessPro360
Process mapping through a program like ProPro360 enables automation, compliance, workflow, onboarding, and more that encourage employee engagement by creating transparency and simplification of processes. It centralizes standard operating procedures, tools, and templates used by the team to support them as they work toward improvement. By enabling organization and lean process design, you can organically build engagement by providing a positive employee experience.
For more on Employee Engagement, Constructive Feedback, Performance Management, Leadership and Executive Coaching and Development, and all things “HR,” The Pendolino Group is here to support you and your team. Contact us today!
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