With all of today’s distractions, are you finding it difficult to engage employees at work? You’re not alone.
Gallup’s Workforce Survey regularly finds that “[t]he majority of the U.S. workforce (51%) is not engaged. These employees are indifferent and neither like nor dislike their job.”
Yet, as their leader, you want to engage employees to positively affect the workplace with greater teamwork, productivity, and a better work environment. What can you do about it?
Here are 10 effortless ways in which you can positively engage your employees. These go beyond the basic “needs” an organization provides its employees such as medical and dental benefits, retirement plans, and a variety of company provided perks.
1. Say Thank You with a Why
Be genuine. Connect with a smile and eye contact. Show how much you appreciate the results of an employee’s contribution.
2. Bring in a Treat
Unexpected small gestures go a long way whether it’s a homemade goodie or cookies from the store. The thought is what counts and develops loyalty and appreciation for hard work recognized.
3. Celebrate Birthdays with a Simple Gift and Note
A personalized touch to celebrating one of the most personal days of an employee’s life is so simple yet powerful. One day out of the year, you’re recognizing an individual for their very existence.
4. Drink Coins for a Job Well Done
Check with your local vendor for drink or snack machines. They may have a program where you can purchase “drink coins” that are recognized by the company’s vending machines. Unique and with minimal cost, these are great for recognizing small, everyday positive actions that you want to reinforce.
5. Carry out Their Idea and Announce to All
Ideas from employees are essential and seeing those ideas in action is one of the greatest contributors to engaged employees. Make sure to recognize and announce the contributions that lead to a more successful work place.
6. Find Small Wins as You’re Heading Toward Goals
Most companies are constantly challenging the current status. To keep up with today’s competitive environment, as soon as a goal is reached, the standard is raised. It can get pretty exhausting.
As the direct leader to a team, it’s critical to stop, enjoy the victory, make sure your employees feel the victory, and recognize the improvements they’ve made along the way. Celebrate those step goals and take a moment to bask in the window of success will help keep your employees encouraged.
7. Listen and Act – Employees Will Share What They Like or Want if Someone is Listening
Take time to listen to your employees. Everyone is a little different and what motivates and engages one, may not be as effective with another.
You have your dreamers, venters (those who are happiest venting about anything), happy-go-lucky just glad-to-be-alive folks, and those who say they only care about the paycheck. Each can be reached with a unique act of appreciation. Get creative and act at the right moment for each employee.
8. Help Build Their Next Goals (Work, School, or Hobby)
Know the goals of your employees whether it’s home or work. Help them reach those goals.
It doesn’t take a lot. Maybe you share an article that interests the employee, or you help drive their direction in the workplace for the next career step.
At home or at work, helping an employee reach their next goal will not go unnoticed.
9. Be Fair and Consistent
On the more traditional side of leadership, it’s critical to remain fair and consistent in your expectations and discipline. Without this, all else is doomed to failure and you’ll lose your best employees over time.
Being fair and consistent is the bedrock to establishing trust and respect among employees. Without either, the existence of disengaged employees is almost guaranteed.
10. Share the Vision and Expectations that Align Everyone to the Same Outcome
In order for the team to have a chance at success and being engaged, they must all know where they’re going and what the vision is to achieve success. As the leader, you’re the one who focuses their efforts to the right outcome.
Helping them understand the goals, timelines, and direction that they need to make helps them know what ideas, actions, and plans are rewarded.
Creating an Engaged Workplace
A non-engaged workplace shouldn’t be the norm! This is a small sampling of how to help employees feel engaged. As the leader, it’s our responsibility to set this change in motion regardless of the company culture.
We’re all human and want recognition for a job well done. The workplace is no different. Even though we’re expected to put in the hours to finish a job, effortless ways to influence our team as a leader can make a huge difference in their engagement.
Treat small victories, accomplishments, and tasks with a simple appreciation and watch engagement transform.
What way have you found to engage and motivate your employees? Which one have you not tried that you would like to give a go?
About the Author
Cindy Posey, is a freelance writer with a focus on business leadership. She uses her knowledge, skills, and personal experience in leadership development and training to design content that helps leaders connect. When taking a break from work and writing, she can be found hanging out with her husband, three kids, and two dogs in the rolling hills of Middle TN or binge-watching the latest great Sci-Fi show on Netflix such as Altered Carbon and Lost in Space!