You have enough on your to-do list. Do you really need to be working out different behaviours that can help you to increase employee engagement?
In short, yes. Knowing how certain behaviours help to improve employee engagement can make a real difference to the way your teams work together and the results they can achieve. Here are four ways you can motivate your team and increase their engagement:
#1 Give employees freedom in how they do their work
After your team members have had their training and know what is expected from them, giving them freedom (where realistic and possible) to manage their projects and their approach to work in a way that suits them is a real motivator. This type of trust is a real motivator for employees. In fact, a recent survey by LinkedIn and Citigroup found that nearly half of employees would give up a 20% raise for greater control over how they work.
Freedom at work also opens up more opportunities for problems to be solved because people try different ways of doing tasks.
It can feel risky to give employees more freedom - what if they don’t perform or they do something wrong? These are legitimate fears, but you can mitigate against risks.
First of all, having a clear overview and regular check-ins with team members will help you identify early on if someone is going off the tracks. Second, communicating successes through the team will demonstrate expected behaviours and standards - everyone will be clear on what they’re working towards.
#2 Let employees focus on their areas of strength
We all have different strengths and weaknesses. While it’s important to work on our weaknesses and try to improve, it’s also vital that we’re allowed to excel at our strengths.
Brands that give employees the freedom to focus on their strengths - through the projects they work on and the responsibilities that they have - will find their people are more energetic and focused. This is because people will naturally work harder in areas that they care about.
Accountability is essential if this approach is going to work; clear expectations need to be communicated, so that employees don’t neglect other areas of their work.
#3 Communicate what is happening with the whole team
When you don’t know what is happening, it can make you anxious and nervous. How do you know if things are going well, if nobody is telling you? Employees (especially on the frontline) are often not told about company goals and overall company strategy. This makes it hard to know what direction the company is moving towards; it also makes it hard for the individual employee to feel a true part of the brand.
Sharing and openness is the way to fix this. A 2015 study by Gallup of 2.5 million manager-led teams in 195 countries found employee engagement improved when supervisors had some form of daily communication with direct reports.
#4 Focus on building relationship with and within your team
Often, at work, we get told that getting the job done is the most important priority; we’re not here to socialise. However, when people are able to build relationships with colleagues, their performance at work improves. People who help others with their work will earn trust and respect from colleagues; they’ll also typically be more productive themselves. While things like team building days can sound forced, they serve a purpose. When people in your teams care about each other, they won’t want to let the team down.