5 principles that enhance employee engagement

If employee engagement is not a priority for management, then your company will spend more on its workforce while obtaining less. It costs 150 percent of an employee’s salary to replace that person, so high turnover rates drain revenues and profits. Unmotivated workers who show up just for the paycheck are less productive and put off customers with poor attitudes and service.

No business can thrive without effective talent management that leads to high levels of employee commitment and enthusiasm. In a sense, focusing on employee engagement is a form of career management that benefits both a company and its workers — a win-win situation for both sides.

There are dozens of tactics for raising employee engagement, but they tend to fall under one of the five following principles:

Principle 1: Show respect

Nothing demotivates or demoralizes employees more than a manager who plays games, favors certain staffers over others, steals credit for subordinates’ ideas, or sets unrealistic performance goals. So get rid of bad managers, slackers and rule-breakers. No matter how much sales they may bring in. They poison the workplace and are not worth it in the long run. Also respect your employees by telling them the truth in a timely manner. Nothing works better than transparency to prune that malicious grapevine and show respect.

Principle 2: Promote acceptance

To be most effective at their jobs, employees need to feel accepted by their peers. Establishing teams is one way to promote peer-to-peer acceptance, provided the company has laid the groundwork by showing team members how their work is important to the company and valuable to their customers. Rivalry between inter-departmental teams is another way to build acceptance – as long as the tone is friendly, not hostile.

Principle 3: Value their contributions

Does your company constantly ask employees for their opinions or suggestions? If you do surveys, then be prepared to implement changes because those in the trenches know best what’s not working and often have great ideas on how to fix the problem. And make sure those who came up with a solution that the company adopts get real recognition from the top and that other employees know about their valuable contribution.

Principle 4: Instill confidence

Untrained employees will not feel confident or empowered, no matter how many times their supervisors utter that mantra. Make sure your employees have or can acquire all of the skills to perform the job they are expected to do by offering them training on a regular basis. Once they know they can handle their workload, they finally will feel confident enough to act empowered.

Principle 5: Show that you care

It’s not enough to offer a paycheck and health insurance. Employees need to know that you care about them as people, as living breathing human beings. Your employees give a large part of lives to their work, and they want to be appreciated. Say it, show it, make it part of your company’s culture. For instance, a company that is willing to provide outplacement services to former workers shows the current staff members that it really does care about them – even if they leave. Outplacement can turn potentially bad word-of-mouth into positive talk about a company.

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