10 ways to engage your employees
What is the best way to create an engagement strategy in an organization where one has never existed?
As a business owner and Communications Director, I have often had to ask myself this very question. Although I am primarily specialized in external communi
cations, I quickly grasped the power and impact that even the smallest campaigns can have on employee morale and loyalty. More than a simple internal communications strategy, an engagement strategy aims to build a sense of belonging and increase pride among an organization’s employees.
Over the course of the last few years, I have often found myself in discussions with fellow communications professionals about the need to create a full-fledged strategy to engage and communicate with employees.
The general consensus is that there are 10 important points to consider in order to generate engagement and encourage employees to take part in communications activities, including social media.
10 important guidelines for engaging employees:
1) Put people first and acknowledge their efforts
Be sure to communicate the accomplishments of your team members and give credit to those who have helped you to achieve your business goals. Employees are much more likely to continue their good work if they feel as though they are working with you towards a common goal, rather than a mere pawn in your own personal advancement.
2) Motivate and influence others to act
Lead by example and provide a positive model of leadership. This might mean keeping emotional outbursts in check and remaining cool headed during the good and bad times. Your employees and colleagues must see you as a leader to emulate and see that you are the type of person who practices what they preach. For example, if you want them to be more active in promoting the organization on social media, be sure to do the same yourself.
3) Mentor young employees
Observe synergies and identify talent within the team to ensure that potential star employees are nurtured early on. This gives employees a sense that you value them and truly care about their well-being and career development.
4) Recognize and reward excellence
Be sure to acknowledge good work when it is merited and plan awards ceremonies to strengthen collaborative spirit and a sense of belonging. The acknowledgement will motivate employees who want to be recognized for their hard work and dedication.
5) Build a collaborative environment
Be present and, when possible, promote the process of collective decision making. Make sure you understand the various issues and business problems that arise to ensure that your employees know you care about what they think and that you value their opinion.
6) Listen to your employees and encourage engagement
Remain open to constructive criticism and new processes suggested by employees. Always be available for individual meetings to find out what motivates each individual team member or what could be improved in company policy or procedure.
7) Promote employee development
Allow all employees to obtain training or attend informative conferences in order to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit in each team member. It will allow your company to innovate and operate more efficiently.
8) Accept change
Acknowledge that companies change and evolve and that it is possible to develop new ways of working that will improve performance, the decision making process and the company’s efficiency overall.
9) Build a strong corporate culture
If you have not already done so, determine your mission, your vision and your corporate values and present them to your employees in a formal manner. Make sure employees are on board and reinforce key messages at relevant occasions.
10) Set up a winning environment
Create an interesting and enjoyable environment that employees will want to stay in! Be flexible but set clear boundaries for perks such as working from home or flex time.
An employee engagement strategy is easy to create if all 10 items listed above are included and respected. The establishment of goals regarding quality, rigor and efficiency are also key and must be followed by everyone. Essentially, the success of an engagement strategy is based on the idea that employees and colleagues feel that you play an active role in all areas of the company and its projects.