Being a senior manager is not an easy task. Being a middle manager is even harder. Your organisation is depending on you to accomplish big things, often using minimal or reduced resources.
Your day is probably filled with “draining the swamp” activities, with large volumes of email, endless reports and paperwork, project deadlines to meet, budgets to be set or met, stakeholder meetings, customers to talk to, and…. of course, not forgetting something really important…. managing your staff!
It’s hard to keep your eye on what matters most when you get stuck on the management treadmill. Your open door policy can quickly lead to a closed one as the pressure to deliver builds.
As a manager, you are judged by the strength of your team and the amount and quality of work they deliver. So shouldn’t you pay more attention to your employees as they are a critical part of your organisation? After all, they are your only true competitive edge, and motivated, engaged staff can have a major impact on brand value and corporate performance.
According to a recent Gallup study, “only 13% of employees worldwide are highly engaged.” Worse still, Gallup report that around 20% are actively disengaged – they are actually working against you!
Clearly there is a HUGE opportunity for almost every manager to improve this area, so what are you doing to motivate your staff and maximise their potential?
Employee engagement isn’t something that you can drastically change overnight. There are many components that affect engagement over time, some of which are in your control while others are not.
According to Dan Pink, the areas that mostly affect engagement are: meaningful work, growth and development opportunities, and trust in leadership.
In an ideal world, we would all take the time to build a thoughtful, comprehensive plan to address each and every point within these areas – but that’s just not realistic for everyone. So what can you do now to improve employee engagement?
Here are a few things you can do to focus on your employees today and ultimately improve their engagement:
◾Get to know your team
How well do you know each of your team members? Take time to learn a bit more about them personally. Do they have a family? Where did they grow up? What are their hobbies? Which team do they support? Where are they going on holiday? How long have they worked for the company? What are their personal aspirations? It’s ok to chat about things that aren’t work related. Just make sure to take cues from the employee. In other words, be genuine with the discussion and make sure not to get too personal.
◾Find out what drives them
What drives your team members? What type of work do they prefer? Are they working on the right projects, given their skill set, strengths, and interests? Do they need more training? Seek to understand what motivates and drives each employee and adjust their workload to fit accordingly.
◾Keep your open door policy Open
When is the last time you sat down with an employee for a coffee or for a talk? A change of scenery can do wonders and help relax conversation, so go for a walk with them. Get out of the office, get some fresh air, and see what happens! At least, operate an OPEN door policy, and make sure it is open!
◾Remember the little things – they do matter
Do you celebrate employee birthdays and work anniversaries? Do you even know the dates for their celebrations? This is a simple, yet effective way to recognise each person as an individual and to let them know that you care! You don’t have to get elaborate presents – even a card and a small cake or an email or phone call if you are out of the office is enough to say “thanks” and “congratulations!”
◾Recognise and reward
When is the last time you spoke up in a department meeting to recognise one of your team members for a job well done? Consider small, frequent tokens of recognition – it could be a $5 Coffee Bean voucher or a pair of movie tickets. When you reward your staff, emphasise how much you appreciate their contribution to the team!
Engaging your employees really isn’t rocket science. Most of the time employee engagement is related to caring for them and understanding their needs. Using a simple, consistent approach can help you connect with your team and ultimately provide them with what they need.
No matter how you do it, try something new today!
Brownie Points can help. We are specialists in staff engagement. If you would like to know how we can help your business, call us today on 03 9909 7411, or email us at email@example.com