In short, all the gosh darn time. Engagement is this key item to making people happier in the workplace, more productive and reduce turnover. So, how do we engage people in the work that we’re doing? Just to note, the details come from Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report 2013 peppered with my own thinking.
Let’s begin with level-setting and realizing different people need different engagement strategies. This makes sense; what works for you just may not work for your coworker, or other departments. Older folks, women, managers and higher-ups are generally more engaged, but there are some key moments to focus on.
Onboarding – this is your first big impression on a new employee. Take time to pair them with someone seasoned who can show them the ropes, and remind them why this company is such a great place.
The honeymoon period – granted, onboarding is incredibly important, but once people start getting comfortable, engagement slides greatly. Use the first six months with new employees to really encourage them to understand the company’s values, and learn about their own values and needs.
Keep asking (and listening) – making it part of your company’s policy to check-in with employees on their personal development goals and thoughts around the company encourages them to stay engaged. It can also garner some great solutions in places you wouldn’t expect.
Step back – allow people to work autonomously, and do their best work. Millennials are a rough bunch to keep in one place, but they’re more likely to stay if you give them a chance to shine.
See the whole picture – the people you work with have full lives, be aware of what’s going on in them, rather than pegging them as “resources”.
I’m going to follow up this post with Gallup’s thoughts on how to accelerate engagement, but these are some nice moments and areas to think about when we focus on engagement.