Why Employment Engagement Shouldn’t be a Program

Sylvia Plester-Silk

There is so much written about how to inspire and motivate employees, especially how to set up an Employee Engagement Program – it’s seen as an adjunct to how you do business instead of the very way to do business.

I believe that inspiring employees comes from the operationalized policies and procedures and how you respect employees every day of the year. Not from giving gift cards, or even contests for vacations.

Employees truly become engaged when they experience the 5 C’s of clarity, communication, collaboration, congruency, and then commitment will result.

Here are 10 ways to establish this in your organization.

  1. Be clear on your strategic direction. Share it with employees at all levels of the organization.
  2. Look at your mission, vision, and values – do you treat your employees, colleagues, customers and suppliers in this way? If not, it’s time to either revise your organization’s behaviour or change the mission, vision, and values so that they are congruent with your actual culture.
  3. Review your policies and procedures and ensure that you are consistent with them throughout the organization. Do you have one set of rules for the employees and another for managers and yet another for executives? If so, this needs to become one set of rules that are congruent throughout the organization.
  4. Communicate with respect. Share the information that people need to do their jobs effectively at a minimum. Share more when possible.
  5. Offer direct and honest feedback when asked a question – don’t skirt an issue. If you cannot share information, share the reason you are unable to do so.
  6. Make sure that you are behaving in the same manner as you expect your direct reports to. For example, if you leave early every Friday, yet reprimand your employees for doing the same, you are not operating from a place of congruency.
  7. Invite collaboration – ask employees for innovative ideas that will help your organization move forward and implement them.
  8. Give Credit where it’s due. If you got an idea from an employee or group of employees that solved a problem in the organization, share that it’s their solution.
  9. Appreciate you team member(s) every day. Recognize that without their input, you cannot achieve your objectives.
  10. Treat them like rock stars, by ensuring their physical environment is a positive place to work. Let them post pictures at their desk, add flowers and even consider having them bring their dogs to work.

Give these 10 a try and watch your employees and team members rise to the occasion – when they feel respected and valued every day, their discretionary efforts will multiply.

Sylvia Plester-Silk is an Executive Coach, Consultant, and Speaker at On Purpose Consulting. She works with executives to effectively shift their team dynamics resulting in highly engaged teams. She is the author of Unleashing Team Potential: Lessons for Managers from My Canine Friends. You can reach her at On Purpose Consulting.

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