There are some straightforward, foolhardy ways to encourage engagement. (Prompted from Gallup)
Hire the right people
You need managers who know how to actively engage their team members. That’s not always going to be the most senior or successful person in your company. Being a strong manager requires different skills in addition to their work skills. A strong manager listens to their team, and recognizes individual talent to raise up. Whenever hiring new people, or promoting within, it’s an opportunity to look for people who have the desire to be actively engaged, and engage those around them. You want people to feel supported, heard, and know what they’re doing and why.
Focus on employee strengths
Now that you have the right people for the job, we need to consistently focus on each employee’s strengths, and encourage them to do the same, as well as see others’ strengths. By encouraging conversations around building our own strengths and capabilities, we already are showing that we care about the people we work with, and the work that they do. Gallup has an index of questions that you should be asking your employees:
- Every week, I set goals and expectations based on my strengths
- I can name the strengths of five people I work with
- In the last three months, my supervisor and I have had a meaningful discussion about my strengths
- My organization is committed to building the strengths of each associate.
Having Managers focus on strengths greatly increases engagement, improves wellbeing and improves employees’ lives and your companies bottom line. Sounds like we could all be taking StrengthsFinder?! (My last team took it under an incredible leader and it was a great tool for all of us to learn how to work with each other)
Enhance employees’ wellbeing
In order to keep healthcare costs low, engage your workers – it helps them to lead healthier lives and avoid health issues. You can do this by having wellbeing become an organizational strategy, communicate the importance of wellbeing and hold leaders accountable for wellbeing programs. As a manager, consider setting the example, by leaving work to get to the gym, have family time and get rest. Help it become easier to encourage wellbeing; offer gym discounts, healthy lunches, contribute to savings accounts and try a company outing that isn’t to the bar downstairs.
Let me know if you have other ideas to encourage engagement, but these are some big ones.