High employee engagement leads to happier employees, lower absenteeism, greater employee loyalty, and increased productivity. It also boosts employee health and safety. Many organizations enjoy high employee engagement because of their company culture and teams that align with their values and visions. However, other companies need to strive hard to increase engagement with many developing and implementing employee programs.
However, not all employee engagement programs are effective. You may notice that your people work the bare minimum, and no one goes above and beyond effort. Your teams may lack camaraderie and distance themselves from coworkers the moment they clock out. You may also recognize that employees have no sense of pride in the organization and never boast about their work to their family or friends by sharing company news on their social media. Employees who aren’t engaged at work are also less likely to seek opportunities that help them grow personally and professionally.
If you recognize the signs of low employee engagement, it’s likely that your employee engagement program is lacking or isn’t being implemented properly. Here are reasons why your employee engagement program is faltering.
No sense of company culture
An organization can define its company culture and even put it in writing. But if leadership doesn’t live up to it and goes against what they’ve claimed to be, employees become confused – not knowing how they’re meant to behave. A company may describe itself as collaborative or creative, but leaders act entirely on their own, leaving employees few opportunities to contribute and only do as they’re told. When the advertised company culture doesn’t align with leadership’s behavior and the company’s processes, employees feel disconnected.
No “open-door” policy
You can’t expect employees to engage when they don’t trust that you’re willing to listen. Leadership must communicate to employees across all divisions and levels that they are open to questions, suggestions, and complaints. An open-door policy doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have the literal door to your office at all times, although that is the case for many companies as it allows employees to walk in whenever they need. An open-door policy also doesn’t need to be a literal policy; rather, it’s communicating to employees that open conversations are at the core of your company culture.
Leadership needs to develop relationships with employees and understand their unique motivators, goals, strengths, weaknesses, and potential. Managers can help nurture these relationships by proactively communicating with their people and taking a genuine interest in their lives. And the best way to keep employees engaged and talking is to demonstrate that communication lines are open. Do this by reaching out to employees to ask them about more than just their work. Make small talk. Ask them about their day and if they need anything from you. Recognize good work. Be a good listener and encourage transparency by demonstrating it yourself.
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