As an employer, it may be surprising to learn that most employees are not engaged in their work and don’t consistently give their best efforts. According to the most recent Gallup State of the American Workplace report, just 33 percent of U.S. employees are engaged at work. The remaining 67 percent are either disengaged from their jobs or actively disengaged – meaning they are a negative influence on those around them.
The good news is leaders can have a positive and lasting effect on employee engagement. Here are 9 simple things any leader can do to build an engaged workforce.
1. Grow relationships.
Employees want to produce high-quality work that meets the high standards you set for them. If you treat each person as an important team member, they won’t want to let you down, and they will stay engaged in their work.
2. Keep your promises.
As the boss, your employees expect you to keep your promises. And when you do, their satisfaction – and engagement – will increase.
3. Express gratitude.
Team members not only notice when you thank them for their hard work, but they highly appreciate it. Thanking someone will make them more inclined to produce great work for you and the team – and for your customers.
4. Provide feedback.
When the going gets tough, there’s no need to criticize employees who are trying to do the best job that they can do. In fact, when you offer concrete suggestions for an employee’s work to be improved, they will appreciate you for it and give their best efforts.
5. Give necessary training.
No one likes working in the dark. If you expect to build a culture of trust, accountability and high engagement, you must do your part to set the team up for success. This means providing the proper training and guidance for employees, while removing organizational obstacles that might get in their way and prevent them from doing their best.
6. Put everyone in the right role.
You may have a talented team, but are their talents and skills being utilized properly? Make sure your team members are in positions that bring out the best in them and allow them to shine.
7. Create a welcoming work environment.
To foster a work culture that is conducive to participation, constant progress and high engagement, make sure workers feel comfortable, have positive coworker relationships, and feel like their thoughts and suggestions are heard and acted on.
8. Practice transparency.
If you want your employees to maintain team engagement, give them something to engage with. The most effective leaders give their team members as much information as possible when it comes to project updates and future plans for the organization.
9. Give work purpose.
Engaged employees know how they are contributing to a company’s objectives and mission while providing value to customers. Ensure that your team members have a clear path or role, so they are able to align themselves with your organization’s unique purpose.
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