In old ages the people build their lives around the workplace. They did build houses close to the factory and worked for the same employer 30-50 years. Sometimes even lent money to build their house from their employer.
In today’s world, people change jobs. They seek better career, challenges and places where they can have the fulfilment. It is a lot more difficult to engage people today, than it was before.
The basics of employee engagement needs to be in place:
1. Treat employees as individuals
2. Pay and treat them fairly
3. Have reward systems in place
How do you build an engagement for Tim. Tim is working in IT. You treat him well and you pay him fairly, but he is not engaged.
1. Set goals and challenge.
People who have clear goals are more likely to reach the goals and have better fulfilment when they reach their goals. If they connect with their goals, they also become more engaged with their goals and with the company.
Tim needs good goals!
2. are measurable
3. Connect with the person
2. Give wholehearted support for reaching the goals.
Support your employees in their pursuit to reach their goals. And now I emphasise words “their goals”. Goals are set so that they are inline with the goals of the company, BUT the goals need to be personal or feel personal.
Employees do not care how much money company does!
If the goal of the company is to double the profit, the employee is not interested or connected with the goal. It might become as surprise to the highest management or owners of the company, but employees do not care how much money company does! Specially if it is making good profit already!
The good goal for Tim, the IT guy, who likes to work with CRM systems, is “Introduce CRM system to our sales people before June 1st.”. That only of course, if you and the company believe CRM system is the way to go towards better profit or whatever is the goal of the company.
3. Recognize accomplishments and development.
After Tim has started to work towards his personal goals. He needs to be followed. Whenever he does good progress, he needs recognition.
..and when that 1st of June arrives and Tim has made good work. Reward him. Not only for the great success, but also for the personal development that has happened.
4. Support and help in times of failures and be flexible in times of personal difficulties.
Life is not only success and happiness. When Tim does mistakes in his journey to reach the goals you need to support him to overcome and find solutions to the failures. It definitely does not mean that the project ends or goals are lost. You need to remind him about the goals, but also keep him motivated after the failure.
Sometimes in life something goes wrong. Those times are extremely stressful to employee, and you need to stretch. Be strict and clear when you will be flexible.
If Tim is having small ache in his back and decides to stay in home several times, you need to demand doctors certificate for that and tell him that he should get his back in shape – but when his child is seriously ill, is in hospital or anything similar. Be flexible!
When you make sure that Tim can concentrate to what is really important and sees that you and the company care, he will become more engaged.
People appreciate small acts of support. People appreciate that you care.
5. Challenge even more.
When Tim manages to meet his goals, and he has received enough recognition. You need to challenge him more. With his new self-confidence and ability reach bigger goals Tim is already after bigger goals.
Tim has started to grow.
6. Give more Responsibility and Freedom
When people reach their goals, grow and get more self-confidence. They need more freedom and responsibility. More responsibility you have, more freedom you should earn.
When people have more responsibility. They feel more empowered and they will be more engaged.
Develop your employees as individuals. If you are lost in the crowd you wont be engaged. Treat them fairly, challenge, give them responsibility, freedom — in other words empower them. Empowered people are engaged.
Do you need facts for making the case for engagement? Real world facts about employee engagement.
Photo credit flickr Egor Pasko