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Engaging your employees not as difficult as you think!

Common concerns I hear from managers are that their employees don’t take initiative, they aren’t service oriented and they don’t perform at the required level.  There are often three main factors that contribute to that: hiring, environment, and leadership. 

Hiring

As the hiring manager, it is important to make sure you hired the right person in the first place and not just fill a vacancy because you are too busy. You will never have an engaged and productive employee if they are not a fit for the role or the organization.

To do that, you want to determine:

  • If the candidate truly wants the job because they like the work versus just needing a paycheque
  • What the candidate values most in her life and how the role aligns with those values
  • That the position offers challenge and personal growth for the candidate and is part of their career path
  • The candidate has the required skills to feel confident and the aptitude to learn new skills
  • The candidate’s personality will fit with the team and the company culture

I always advise candidates that it is up to them to make sure the job they are interviewing for meets their needs and is aligned with who they are and what is important to them. Today’s generation of new employees has no issue at all with interviewing a potential employer.

Environment

You have hired a great candidate and you both feel there is mutual benefit. Now you want to keep that momentum going.  As a supervisor, it’s not your job to motivate your employees – they ideally are motivated to work in the role.  It is your job, to create a motivating environment. Find out what your employees want and need to be successful on the job.

Today’s younger generation wants to work for a company:

  • Whose purpose aligns with their values
  • That creates the opportunity to have meaningful experiences and contribute
  • That understands that the new generation grew up with technology and instantaneous access to information. They are not impatient, they simply do not want to wait years to learn what they can in a shorter period of time
  • Has an open mindset toward generational diversity
  • An opportunity to grow and learn quickly
  • That provides a mentor to guide them
  • That is flexible in working conditions such as work schedules and access to current technology and to information.
  • That is open to new ideas

As a manager, I would encourage you to do your own research on what will attract and retain new candidates. Try not to exercise judgment because their needs may be different from what yours were. Then look at how the jobs are structured and make the necessary modifications.

Today’s employee is quicker to walk away from a demotivating environment.

Leadership

What type of leader are you? Do your employees like you as a person? Are you a role model they want to follow?

Here are some great leadership attributes that support high levels of employee engagement:

  • Take time to get to know each one of your employees on an individual level
  • Understand and work with them toward their career goals
  • Provide a sense of purpose, bigger than the actual job, so they understand the value of their contribution to the company
  • Provide regular meetings, uninterrupted, to discuss their work, their progress and any challenges they are experiencing
  • Seek their input into strategy and continuous improvement
  • Acknowledge and recognize their effort and accomplishments in a manner that is meaningful to them
  • Believe in them and encourage them to stretch and grow beyond their comfort zone
  • Facilitate their thinking instead of giving all the answers – it builds confidence
  • Instead of telling them how to solve a problem, encourage them to offer their suggestions first
  • Create teambuilding opportunities
  • Address problems and conflicts immediately, always hearing their perspectives first and soliciting their ideas on resolution
  • Be open-minded and curious
  • Demonstrate gratitude and appreciation on a regular basis
  • Be open and flexible
  • Be transparent, open and honest
  • Demonstrate the behaviour you expect of them
  • Be a leader who inspires them to want to be the best they can be

Yes, you can have engaged employees. They are out there!  You can even turn around most of the current employees who are disengaged by using these techniques or demonstrating these attributes. As the manager, it’s all in your hands. Select the right person, create the right environment and be an inspirational leader!

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash