It’s early in the morning and you are on your way to work. A regular off-the-mill day like any other. Nothing exceptionally bad, or exceptionally good.

employee engagement
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How do you feel about going to work? What emotions arise at the thought of stepping into office?

Now imagine an employee who is working for you. How do you think he or she feels about going to work? Have you ever asked yourself this question before?

Believe it or not, each and every one of your employees experience a thought or feeling – either positive or negative – of going to work. The engaged employees are more positive and motivated by what the day has to offer, whereas the actively-disengaged ones are more likely to be disgruntled and begrudging to even step out of the house. And the simply not-engaged employees? We can’t quite tell because they won’t tell.

These three types of employees were defined by Gallup based on their global research surveys. The numbers are telling. The not-engaged group is growing, and at risk of being actively-disengaged.

The need to engage your employees is pertinent to the health of your company and bottom-line, as doing without employee engagement can actually cost you more, with high attrition rates, low productivity and low accountability.

Improving engagement in your company does not need to cost much or break the bank. It does however take a bit of conviction and considerable amount of commitment.

Here are 5 sure-fire ways to help you get started in your employee engagement successfully, yet also cost-effectively.

1) Understanding Where Your Company Stands

It’s amazing how many companies have yet to truly outline who they are, what their core beliefs are and what they stand for. Young millennials especially are looking to work for companies whose values align with theirs. Advocacy for causes that resonate with your employees will give them a purpose and reason to stay with you, and fight for you.

So, what exactly do you need to do? Answer some of these questions:

  • What is the company’s vision and mission?
  • What are the company’s core values?
  • What does the company stand for?
  • Are there any causes that the company support? Why does it support these causes?

By clearly defining these out to your employees and letting them understand your company better, the more reasons they have, to work with you to achieve company goals.

2) Understand Who Your Employees Are And Know What They Want

Sometimes, all that your employees need is to be heard. Listen to what they have to say by having regular feedback sessions with your employees or have a system in which you can collect their feedback. There are many programmes in the market which help you to collect such information, such as Right Impact‘s FREE workplace happiness survey, which don’t necessarily cost an arm and a leg.

Allowing your employees to express themselves in a safe environment will help you gain insights on how engaged your employees are.

What is important is that you ask the right questions. If you don’t already have an in-house consultant, be sure to hire one that can help you gather the information you need. Otherwise, you will be spending more than necessary, for information that you can’t use.

3) Understand Their Motivations And Engage Them Accordingly

Different people are engaged in different ways. It’s almost futile to lump every one of your employees in just one bucket. Some are motivated by monetary benefits, some are motivated by recognition, and some are engaged simply through thoughtful conversations with their supervisors.

It is important to understand what your employees are motivated by, and coach them according to their preferences.

There are tools out there in the market which can help you determine exactly what your employees’ motivations are. The Emergenetics Selection Programme, is one such tool that can help you identify a person’s motivations when hiring. This will then help you to then understand how to motivate and encourage him or her throughout his or her career.

4) Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

It is important to actively communicate what the management is doing. Trust can rear its ugly head when employees perceive their management to be non-transparent in their goals and strategies.

It’s thus good to make it a point to update and share regularly with your people where the company is heading towards and what its goals are. Have a regular newsletter to disseminate news, or even host town halls where face to face interaction can be held. However, don’t only share the good stuff. Employees can see through that in a heartbeat. The important thing is to be authentic, earnest and honest, even through vulnerable times. Employees are more likely to trust leaders that are open in both the good and the bad times.

5) Work With Your People; Don’t Work In Silo

Of course, for any strategy to work, work directly with people on the ground to set employee engagement rolling. Working in silo i.e. as a management team or a HR department, can make this journey truly a long-haul and arduous task. Be active and work with key personnel on the ground to help ensure that your employee engagement efforts are sustainable.

When your employees are invested in this goal of improving employee engagement, they become your natural ambassadors that can help other not-engaged employees be more engaged.

With these five simple cost-effective strategies, you are on your way to a great start to employee engagement.

The best time to get started? Now.

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