group of employees engaging in team building activity

Increase employees engagement

Published on May 27, 2015 by David Simpson

Employees engagement surveys, along with yearly performance reviews, are becoming less and less present in large companies. SEEK, Deloitte Accenture and PwC have all scrapped the annual survey and performance review, opting for more regular, targeted engagement reviews.

Bain & Company, in conjunction with Netsurvey, analyzed responses from 200,000 employees across 40 companies in 60 countries and found overall negative results:

  • The longer the employee has worked for the company, the less engaged they are
  • Engagement scores decline the lower down the organisation chart you go
  • Engagement is the lowest with employees in customer service/sales positions

It seems that the once a year ‘health check’ is not adequate at addressing the immediate needs and wants of your greatest asset: your staff.

So how do you boost employee engagement and ensure that your employees are invested in their careers in order to go the extra mile. Here are 5 tips to increasing engagement amongst your team.

1. Involved leaders encourage engagement

Who would you rather fight for: a leader drinking tea in a tent or one fighting in the trenches next to you? The level of involvement a team leader/supervisor/manager has with a team directly affects levels of engagement. This doesn’t mean micro managing and constantly looking over shoulders, it means leading by example and not being afraid to get your hands dirty when necessary.

2. Team leaders have a regular, comfortable dialogue with staff

It is important to initiate regular conversations with your colleagues so that they feel they can approach you about serious matters too. Leaders should approach their staff individually just to have a chat every now and then. Not only will the feeling of camaraderie help build your team but it will also prevent team members feeling despondent and unable to express it to their boss.

3. Regular checks to assess the sentiment of the team

sleep company productivity

Instead of the typical once-yearly engagement survey which takes 3 months to write and another 3 months to assess, your organization should try regular “pulse checks”, small regular anonymous surveys, to get a feeling of what your team is honestly thinking and feeling about work.

4. Teams are on the side of the customer

It is important both for employee engagement and for the health of your company that the satisfaction of your customers is the top concern. It is easy for employees to feel pitted against their customers. Many are demanding and unreasonable in their expectations, but your staff has the greatest understanding of their frustrations. It could be some part of your business process that is not working.

Leaders can be instrumental in creating a customer friendly environment. Simply by stating a customer is “lovely”, “good at getting to the point”, “a real professional” or any other form of compliment can start to change the team’s language towards customers.

5. Employees are encouraged to come up with ideas for the company

light bulbs encourage ideas

This is perhaps the most important aspect of employee engagement. They have to feel their ideas are heard. As everyone in your company deals with different aspects of it, everyone will have ideas of how to improve processes. Granted some will be not practical, but others will help efficiency and customer relations. You as a leader have to create a forum where these sorts of ideas can be heard and acted on if they are good. Nothing says “we appreciate you” more than taking an employees idea and making it a reality.

What do you do if your team is disengaged

disengaged employees

It can be an uncomfortable issue to deal with but one you have to face head on. A good way of kick starting your company morale is to do a training and development program, a day-long workshop to work on the challenges facing your team. Workshops are externally moderated so there is no inbuilt bias clouding the activites. Participants emerge feeling re-energised and leaders have a chance to learn about their teams concerns in a safe environment.

How do you deal with employee engagement?

What do you think? Are yearly engagement surveys a thing of the past or are they still necessary for getting a snapshot of what your employees think and feel? Do you have any tips and tricks to encourage engagement?

David Simpson

Co-Founder & Training Director at Team Building Asia

Challenging people to reach their highest potential through experiential, interactive and fun workshops with a strong and meaningful business outcome.


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