ARE YOU DOING IT RIGHT?
Employee engagement is a specific kind of relationship between employer and employee. An engaged employee is one who is fully absorbed and enthusiastic about the job and takes positive actions to further the organization's interests and reputation. According to legend, when an engaged janitorial employee at NASA was asked what he was doing, he responded, “I'm helping to put a man on the Moon”. Employees with a high level of engagement are valued because, everything else being equal, they are expected to out-perform less engaged employees.
So how does an employer go about engaging employees? Several factors must be considered. Generally speaking, employee engagement is a direct reflection of how employees feel about their relationship with their boss. Company leaders must make a connection with their employees, show that they value their work and effort. Employees also want to feel like they have a career, not just another job. Is your organization challenging its employees? Are specific goals set and are workers held accountable for progress? Providing employees with a structure of learning and advancement can go a long way towards creating an engaging workplace.
Goals cannot simply be set and forgotten about, however. It is necessary for goals to be clear and concise so that employees understand what is expected of them. Less confusion about what a goal entails means more time can be spent productively. Feedback is key to this process. Good leaders help people understand and master important tasks and facilitate goal achievement. One of the best ways to do this is through feedback. This offers an opportunity for both employer and employee to remain on the same page and learn how tasks can be done better. Here's the catch: countless surveys show that employees feel that they receive immediate feedback when performance is poor, or below what is expected, but not when performance is done correctly. While it's certainly important to work with employees who are struggling, it is equally important to congratulate employees when goals are met or jobs are done correctly. A fine line exists between feedback and scolding, so make sure to recognize and acknowledge the things employees are doing correctly.