Last week we discussed the benefits of employee engagement. I challenged all of you to consider how you could improve employee engagement at your workplace. Where did your thoughts take you and what realisations did you discover about your team?

You may have dived straight in deliberating how you could create a more committed workforce, or you may asked yourself what it is that your employees need to feel engaged. An engaged employee will have a clear view and understanding of the company’s vision and the key objectives they are working to achieve. There will be an obvious link between their work and the company’s goals. They will be able to see how they are contributing to the company’s success. And they will have effective leadership who can motivate and provide the necessary resources to achieve that success. With these ducks aligned you can evaluate the extent to which your workforce is engaged.

That established let me now ask, do your employees genuinely care about your company’s future? Are they dedicated to playing a role in its expansion? How do you even measure the level of your employees’ engagement? It is not enough to know that you all share a common goal. You want to know how committed your workforce is to succeeding in achieving the business’ goals. And evaluating engagement levels can be as simple as asking your workers a few questions. Surveys are a great way to determine how motivated and engaged your workforce is. Typically an engagement survey will demonstrate what the key drivers are for your employees. You will find these are often associated with career and development opportunities. And furthermore, what you learn through asking your staff directly can help identify issues that are present, how to combat these matters and in turn, boost morale and productivity.

Once you are aware of the level of engagement within your team, you can begin to strategise how to improve this. If your workers feel directionless, managers may need to step up and provide greater feedback on individual and team performance. When mutual respect exists between a manager and a worker, a sense of value to the company is gained. Demonstrating to employees that their insights and contributions are important will additionally enhance loyalty and lead to effective collaboration.

Encouraging employees to share their thoughts and knowledge can release their inner creativity to generate innovative activities, advancing the company and developing a better customer experience. Just as importantly as it is to focus on customer needs, it is imperative that internal relationships with employees are not overlooked. An open and trusting culture will facilitate communication and help connect with new and existing employees. To aid with employee relations and in turn engagement, the celebration of successes, milestones and progress will foster a more motivated workforce. Conversing with employees will also generate a greater understanding of what motivates and drives your team to succeed, the talents they have and how they may compliment each other. When this is known and positively actioned upon, workplace relationships improve, employees work harder, employee retention increases and business targets are exceeded.

To cultivate an engaged workforce you need people who epitomise your values. And this begins with the hiring process. It is at this time that you have the opportunity to share the vision of your business and identify if your philosophy resonates with your potential star recruit. If you can get this element of the process right early, you will make your job of improving employee engagement a lot easier. But remember, the ambitious and eager recruit is one that wants to grow, wants to be challenged and wants to advance up the company ladder. As I stated earlier, it is career and development opportunities that are often at the heart of motivating an engaged workforce. So how will you nurture and encourage an inspired workforce to confidently influence your company’s objectives and propel your success?

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