A team that is invested, inspired and engaged can lead your company to all sorts of success. But, many people in most workplaces are not as engaged as they could be. A Dale Carnegie study shows that 29% of employees are fully engaged, 45% are partially engaged, while 26% of employees are actively disengaged. Changing this requires a combination of picking the right people and creating a workplace that fosters engagement. A few ways to change the culture:
1. Hire for traits and behaviors.
Usually, hiring managers look at experience and education when choosing new applicants. But, once on the job, it’s attitude and actions that count. When you recruit, go through networking channels to find employees who are the most highly recommended by their prior coworkers and managers. By recruiting people who are highly engaged, you can keep the vibe in your office positive and productive.
2. Be visible and available.
When employees feel abandoned by supervisors and management, they aren’t as actively engaged in the workplace. Take time out of your day to be available for questions, work with the door open and be seen throughout the day.
3. Seek employee feedback.
Sometimes, your employees will have better ideas for how things should go than you do. Ask employees for feedback and you will find that they can come up with more efficient processes, new ways to engage prospects and ideas for making a happier, more exciting workplace.
4. Be flexible.
Rigid policies can make people feel like their in detention instead in a job that they enjoy. If feasible, allow employees to have flexibility in their schedules or work from home. Open up social media policies or allow workers to interact with one another with an online chat to promote team cohesion. Allow a relaxed dress code for people who do not have direct customer contact, or allow a dress down day one or more day a week.
5. Recognize and reward accomplishments.
When people know that their hard work is seen and appreciated, they are more likely to give it their all. Regularly recognize achievements like high sales or innovating ways of solving customer concerns. The recognition can come in the form of announcements in the company newsletter or small perks like tickets for half-days at work or a small gift certificate.
6. Provide opportunities for employees to grow.
When we do the same thing day in and day out, we get bored. Give employees new tasks that require learning and using new skills. Take time to work with employees one on one in a mentor position. And, when feasible, give employees the chance to go to conferences, classes and workshops that expand their list of skills.
An engaged team takes time to develop. But, once you start doing the work to make a better workplace, you will be rewarded with employees who stay at your company longer and give more while they are there.