Your employees are the foundation upon which your business is built. Without the right people in the right places, no company can hope to operate anywhere near potential.

Your employees are the foundation upon which your business is built. Without the right people in the right places, no company can hope to operate anywhere near potential.

Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep those people on board.

We live in a buoyant, growing, hyper-connected world economy where quality employees can easily find a new home. The workers of today are less likely than ever to remain with the same company for a significant length of time; mobile careers have become the new norm.

As the boomers continue to retire and the idea of a “job for life” fades into history, businesses can no longer rely upon the automatic loyalty of their employees. If they decide the grass may be greener elsewhere, they won’t hesitate to go and find out.

The Importance of Engagement

An engaged employee is one who feels a strong emotional and personal connection to their workplace. They’re enthusiastic and passionate about their work, throw themselves into tasks with maximum effort and always want to achieve the best possible results.

They’re the people who take pride in working where they do, doing their job properly and helping the business grow and prosper; the men and women who perform at the highest level, positively impact on productivity and who are entirely content working for you.

By contrast, non-engaged employees are more likely to simply do their job and nothing more, while actively disengaged staff could even be doing your business harm. Both groups are also far more likely to leave for greener pastures – and you can wave goodbye to the time and money you spent training them.

Put simply, engaged employees are worth their weight in gold, so it’s little surprise that the country’s top business people recognize their worth.

Harvard Business Review researchers found that 71% of businesses feel strong employee engagement is a key factor most likely to influence their future success; only excellent customer service and effective communication scored more highly.

Sales and marketing capabilities, efficient productivity and innovation matter too, of course, but these were all considered less important than employee engagement, especially by those higher up their respective organizations.

Sales and marketing capabilities, efficient productivity and innovation matter too, of course, but these were all considered less important than employee engagement, especially by those higher up their respective organizations.

Engagement doesn’t just happen on its own. Here’s how you can help engage your employees and boost their motivation.

Be a Good Boss

A large part of engagement is about making an employee feel at home within your company. No one wants to live with someone they don’t like, especially if that person is in charge

Disliking their manager is one main reason why an employee will leave their job, and even if they stay it’s unlikely they’ll put in maximum effort.

You don’t have to be every employee’s best friend, but take a moment to consider your style and think about any changes you could make to increase your popularity among those below you.

Make an effort to treat your staff as individual people rather than assets, and showing some interest in their lives outside the workplace. Small personal touches can make a huge difference to the way you are seen, and in turn increase the probability your staff will feel valued and at home.

Set Reasonable, Attainable Goals with Achievable Rewards

We all like to have something to work toward, in our business or personal lives. Having a goal focuses the mind, provides motivation and offers the opportunity to seize a reward once it is achieved.

Most businesses set goals or targets for their workers, either individually or based on the performance of a team. Unfortunately, a lot of these are little more than a simple challenge to meet an arbitrary figure.

That isn’t going to engage anyone; you need to set meaningful goals.

Instead of simply throwing out a target, set well-defined goals that give your employees a true sense of belonging in the company. Show how meeting their goals will benefit both them and the business, and how the target fits in with what the business as a whole is trying to achieve.

Make them relevant and personal, and schedule regular meetings to ensure progress is tracked and rewarded.

Focus on the Good, not the Bad

Each employee will have certain strengths. There’ll be some with a strong aptitude for communication, for example, while others may excel at analysing data or coming up with creative marketing ideas.

But no one is good at everything, and in an effort to raise overall standards, many managers end up focusing on whatever weaknesses an employee has.

Instead, those seeking to improve engagement should focus on the strengths of their staff, and on developing the areas where they are naturally strong. Where they are weak, other members of their team will be strong, and support can be given where needed.

This approach not only has a significant impact on engagement levels, it raises overall happiness too – who doesn’t like to play to their strengths?

Keep Everyone on the Same Page

If you’ve ever worked for someone else, as part of a team larger than one, you’ll almost certainly have encountered this: One employee doing one thing, while someone else is doing something entirely different, possibly at odds with what their colleague is working on.

Neither has a clue until, for example, a customer asks why they’ve been called twice and quoted two different prices. The result could be any number of unfortunate outcomes for the business.

Now consider the effects felt by workers. Everyone wants to feel like an essential cog in a well-oiled machine, but they’re not going to feel that way if they’re never quite sure what they should be doing, or whether what they’re working on will matter.

Keeping everyone in the loop and fully aware of what they should be working toward is crucial, and relatively easy.

Used correctly, good CRM (customer relationship management) software will eliminate issues such as duplicate working and mixed messages. Everyone will be on the same page, connected and able to see how what they’re doing affects the bigger picture.

And on the subject of the bigger picture – the company’s overall goals – effectively communicating with your team on a regular basis will ensure they know exactly what it is, and exactly where they fit in.

And it’s a Big Target

Less than a third of employees in the United States self-identify as being engaged at work, so the opportunity exists for every business, big and small, to make some serious progress.

Put yourself in your workers’ shoes and consider what would engage you. As Virgin Group founder Richard Branson once said, “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”

It really is.


 

At Insightly, we offer a CRM used by small and mid-sized businesses from a variety of verticals. Learn about all of Insightly’s features and plans on our pricing page or sign up for a free trial.

Share love, share Insightly: Refer Insightly, Receive a Reward.

Free-trial-button