Posted by Robert Half on 22 September 2014
Staff empowerment is a two-way street between you and your staff members. Our Shanghai director explains how it can be easily embarked on in steps.
Employee engagement is critical to the productivity of your team and ultimately, the success of your business. It helps harness the full potential of your workforce by helping them experience greater job satisfaction, increase customer satisfaction, and improve company profits.
For an organisation to increase employee engagement, management must be willing to communicate every aspect of the business to its employees in an open and honest manner. It is a two-way street – managers must be open to the idea of letting employees make decisions independent of them and employees must be willing to assume more responsibility.
You can begin to foster employee engagement with these 5 simple steps.
Regular face time
It is important to help employees feel like their experience and insights matter. Scheduling regular face time with employees not only challenges them to constantly think of solutions to make things work better, it also gives them the sense of being invested in the company’s success. This can help your people love what they do, further driving productivity and creative thinking.
Anonymous employee feedback
A desire to ‘save face’ might make it difficult for an employee to be completely honest when giving you feedback about co-workers or other bosses. Instituting a system where feedback can be submitted anonymously can help assure your team that they can be completely honest. However, be sure to act upon the feedback as employees can become disengaged if they feel nothing is being done after they’ve given their opinion. In fact, you’ll risk losing their trust.
If you’ve been doing a job for several years and think no one notices what you’re doing, would you begin to not care? According to Gallup Business Journal, research has shown that employees who receive feedback that focuses on their strengths were 30 times more likely to be engaged than those who receive feedback that focuses on their weaknesses.
Allow people to test their ideas, and to fail
Employees with an entrepreneurial streak are often the most forthcoming with ideas. They are also more likely to want to strike out on their own if they feel their ideas are not valued. How do you retain such talent? Put them in charge of a project that gives them ample opportunity to flex their leadership muscle. By encouraging these staff to test their ideas, you’re giving them room to explore how they best fit within the organisation and how they can contribute towards the bigger picture. This is true employee engagement with clear benefits for your firm.
Promote from within, if you can
A position just opened up? Don’t be in a hurry to poach someone from your competitor or hire from outside the organisation. Employee engagement involves giving your staff goals to work towards. Always think about how you can train someone to assume a bigger role when the opportunity arises. Invest in your employees by sending them on training courses, seminars, and industry networking events. This way, they won’t feel they are just another cog in this huge machinery called The Company.
Create a place for employees to love what they do.
Managing Director, Shanghai, China