If You Want to Improve Employee Engagement Initiatives, Improve the Employee Experience

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Employee engagement initiatives

Search the internet for “employee engagement initiatives” and you’ll get more than 58 million results in less than a second. Employee engagement is a key priority among company leadership, but many leaders and human resources professions alike struggle to define exactly what it is or how it works in their company. Everyone ends up drowning in technology, programs, and strategies that promise results but only deliver a landfill of failed initiatives.

The reality is that management cannot directly impact employee engagement. It is a by-product of the employee experience. The IBM Smarter Workforce Institute and the Workhuman Analytics & Research Institute found six key areas that impacted the employee experience.

  • Organizational trust
  • Supportive Coworker Relationships
  • Meaningful work
  • Recognition, feedback and growth
  • Empowerment and voice
  • Work Life Balance

It’s Time to Simplify the Employee Experience

While employee engagement is complex, the truth is that creating a better employee experience doesn’t have to be.  Here are five strategies that will help support your employees and improve their experience with your organization.

Have a Clear & Shared Purpose

When team members understand the why behind their work, they have a sense of shared purpose in the bigger picture. As I mentioned in this post, employees who understand how their actions move the organization forward are more likely to take ownership of their duties, collaborate with one another, and proactively address challenges.  Make sure employees understand the greater purpose of your company’s vision and mission so they can take ownership of the part they play in corporate success.

Develop Coaching Managers

While managers can vary in personality, the most common trait of good managers is the ability to work as a coach. I call this the ask and listen approach. Employees who work with coaching managers are more likely to take initiative, feel respected, and get the feedback they need to grow and develop with your company rather than looking for opportunities elsewhere. Identify and invest in leaders within your organization who have the potential to become coaching managers – you’ll see a great return through employee productivity and growth.

Create Psychological Safety

Most workplaces are diverse, with employees from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. However, our brains are hardwired to trust those who are most like us, which can lead to subtle and unintended division in the workplace.

Tools such as personality assessments can help to bridge that divide, but the most important tool is to create a sense of belonging where employees feel they can safely share their ideas and frustrations without fear of negative backlash. It take more than ice cream socials and trust building activities to create psychological safety. Start by giving employees a sense of belonging and the community activities will naturally fall into place.

Give Employees a Voice

Allow employees an opportunity to ask questions and express concerns. Then be willing to listen to employees’ concerns and issues – you’ll develop a more positive work environment and you may also get some great ideas and solutions out of the experience! Employees don’t have to get their way but they will be more willing to commit if they have a say.

Create High Performing Teams

Research shows that being part of a high-performing team can improve employee engagement and productivity. Teamwork doesn’t happen overnight, though. Leaders must first create an environment that enables coworkers to dialogue, support one another, and hold each other accountable for shared success (or failure). Start by helping teams develop healthy conflict so they can trust one another, then move on to accountability and measurable results.

Stop searching for the next “magic bullet” to improve engagement in your employees, and start investing in better employee experiences. Your team members will thank you with better support, initiative, and productivity.

If you do want to discuss programs that can help improve the employee experience, such as team development or assessments, I can help. Reach out today to schedule a free 15-minute consultation and learn how the right tools can help streamline employee development and increase your bottom line.

POSTED ON: Coaching, Dealing with Conflict, Interpersonal Communication, Leadership, Management, Team Development
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