Thoughts from The 100: Getting and Staying Engaged at Work
In my last two The 100–related posts I shared my thoughts around happiness and getting clear around goals (yes, they are connected!). For me, and for most everyone that works at Intertech, being engaged with what we do also is a huge part of what makes us and our clients happy. Engagement is made up of many factors. It ranges from having employees understand how they fit into the big picture to continuous feedback on how they’re doing in their jobs.
Employee engagement has become a hot topic for many in business and for good reason: not only are more engaged employees more satisfied, they happily give extra discretionary effort in their jobs. According to a Gallup poll, engaged employees, when compared to non-engaged employees, are more than 20 percent more productive at work. They also are absent nearly 40 percent less than their non-engaged counterparts.
The good news is that fostering employee engagement is not expensive and it pays off big time. When companies can pair engaged employees with engaged customers, outcome-oriented business performance increases by 240 percent over companies where neither group is engaged (Gallup, 2013).
In my new book, The 100: Building Blocks for Business Leadership, I define concrete actions to improve a company’s performance in all the major areas of engagement. Here is a high-level quick summary (check out the book for more detailed information):
- Leverage teamwork – It starts with hiring professionals who understand the value of pulling together.
- Use goal alignment – Work with employees to set achievable goals, provide training and support, and hold them accountable.
- Build coworker trust – Find ways to foster communication and trust among coworkers, including social outings and things like Fantasy Football if that fits with your culture.
- Recognize individual contributions – Consciously create a culture that celebrates employee success, particularly when it happens as part of a team effort.
- Cultivate managerial effectiveness – Think of managing like coaching, helping others to see their part in the bigger picture and taking pride in their accomplishments.
- Cultivate trusted senior leaders – To earn trust, senior leaders must lead the way, admit mistakes and communicate that it’s ok to be wrong.
- Cultivate feeling valued – People are the lifeblood of your business. Make sure they know you could not do it without them!
- Encourage job satisfaction—Have systems in place to encourage consistency, communication and teamwork. Provide interesting work opportunities in a friendly and respectful environment.
- Be smart about benefits and pay—Pay people as generously as possible and provide creative benefits without breaking the bank. (Hint: it starts with asking people what they care about most.)
Next time: Building a High-Performance Team One Employee at a Time