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24th April 2015

Are your employees engaged?

Geriatric care manager and social workersEmployee engagement has been a main focus for small to medium size businesses over the past 10 years, though it has been important for much longer.

When President Kennedy was visiting NASA in 1962 he asked a janitor about his work: what he was doing? The janitor responded, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.”

Have you considered how your employees would respond if they were asked that question?

What is ‘employee engagement’?

The CIPD states that typical phrases used in describing employee engagement include ‘discretionary effort, going the extra mile, feeling valued, and passion for work.’ CIPD factsheet

How can employee engagement assist your business?

The answer is quite clear; a more engaged team will be happier, healthier and more fulfilled. Employees will:

  • perform far better in their work
  • take less time off sick
  • stay with you
  • help you find other valuable employees
  • represent you well in the community, both as an employer and as a service provider

But remember, employee engagement isn’t an overnight success. It has to be an ongoing project that comes from the top and filters down.

So, how can you start to create an engaged team?

  • Ensure your team understands the company’s vision and its individual values
  • Start with your managers, they are your leaders, and employees look to them for guidance and support
  • Clear communication - share business information with your employees regularly. Explain the successes over the past months, and also the areas that may require further attention
  • Ensure your presence is visible – how often do you walk the floor? Don’t hide away from your workforce
  • You may feel you haven’t got the time to have update meetings, but your team will appreciate them
  • Understand what makes your employees tick. If you show an interest they will feel appreciated

The ideal situation to get to is one where your employees feel valued, which will improve the service that you provide, perhaps massively. It will make your work-life easier, and you will foster employees who become strong advocates of your business.

Strong employee engagement may take time to achieve, but those employers who do so will testify to its value.

Anita Manfredi of Employer Solutions – QCS HR Expert Contributor

Topics: Human Resources

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