Six Keys to Employee Engagement

Entrepreneur.com shared an article about "10 Simple Secrets You Need to Know about Employee Engagement" and in reviewing it I found some of the common ideas you would expect about engagement, but there were also some key takeaways I highlighted in the piece:

"Management transparency has a direct 94 percent correlation with employee happiness. Trusting employees with sensitive information gives them a sense of deeper investment in the company and helps to create a more cooperative team atmosphere, as opposed to an “us versus them” perception of the management-employee relationship."

There's no question in my mind that the sharing of information whenever possible is a good thing.  A lack of information creates a void, and the universe hates a void.  It will be filled with misinformation, doubt, and uncertainty in short order...all things an organization doesn't want to spend time dealing with.

"managers and the C-suite must be accessible and visible around the office, so that employees see them as approachable and available for guidance and assistance, rather than locked away in some protected area."

The old chestnut of the "open-door policy" needs more than lip service.  For many people, approaching senior management with ideas and concerns is a scary prospect. They'd rather not rock the boat and suffer in silence.  Making that outreach as a manager or better yet having part of your organization acting as an ombudsman for your staff can go a long way to opening those doors.

 "publicly recognize employees for their contributions and achievements."

We often think that the "pat on the head" can be condescending and we'd rather real rewards for our effort.  While there is merit to the increases and bonuses, I can't find a single person who doesn't appreciate being recognized for doing a good job. No matter how cynical a person is, deep down inside there is a little spark from that acknowledgement, if it is sincere and not handed out capriciously.

"Employees with supportive supervisors are 1.3 times more likely to stay with the company and are 67 percent more engaged."

In many organizations the perception of the manager is to evaluate, drive, and push their reports to higher levels of achievement.  Nothing could be further from the concept of engagement. Leading people through supporting them, helping clear obstacles, and providing lines of growth for their team makes a manager more than just the title.

"New employees start with enthusiasm and curiosity, so capitalize on that momentum by putting them right to work, helping them to get to know their co-workers or pairing them with a mentor."

Thinking back to your first day on any job, you can remember the anxiety of not being 100% confident in knowing what is expected of you, who to go to for help, and how to make the best first impressions.  Keeping that mindset as an organization and putting into place the structures and people to help new members ease in as efficiently and smoothly as possible goes a long way to setting a positive tone and mindset for those new people.

"it comes down to the Golden Rule: Treat people as you’d want to be treated. And, save your money on those expensive consultants, programs and other productized approaches. Compassion, mutual respect, kindness and flexibility don’t cost a thing."

It can sound trite, but it's true.  Making sure your fellow team members are treated the way you would want to be treated and ensuring that happens every day rather than infrequently can make all the difference in creating and keeping employee engagement.