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You have the posters on the walls of your office - the ones that list out your company’s values over stock photos of landscapes or people in suits smiling around a table. Once a year, one of your senior executives mentions the same values at a holiday party or in their annual letter. Employees fill out surveys hosted by your HR team to share how much they like their desks or their teams on a scale of 1-5. You have an answer ready for "What does engaged mean?" and yet your company sees consistent turnover and a general sense of - oddly enough - disengagement.
You are losing them. But why? You're trying to engaging them, but something thing is missing.
Engagement is not a box to check off every quarter or a poster to be hung on the wall to gather dust. It is day-to-day effort that becomes interwoven in company culture.
What does engaged mean? It is an organic process that arises from dedicated, consistent effort. Engagement is the process of putting your company’s values into action. It must be as high-priority as hitting sales targets and as clearly understood as directions to the break room. Engagement happens when employees are invited to step outside of the survey parameters and into the role of impactors, decision makers, and change agents.
Engaged people are happy, interested, and inspired to work for you. When we are talking about employee engagement, what we are actually talking about is making our people come alive.
While looking for ways to engage your employees - which decreases turnover - consider these:
#1 Engagement Is Inclusion
Engagement literally means to attract or involve; to capture attention; to participate or become involved in. Inclusion is the key that opens the lock of diversity. Without it, people will group into silos and collaboration and creative innovation will seriously flounder. Ask yourself, "How can you increase your levels of inclusion in the workplace? What behaviors can your managers adopt to make inclusion a priority?"
When employees don't feel included, they leave and find a place where they do feel valued.
#2 Engagement Is Employees Understanding Their Purpose
If you know what your purpose is at work and how your actions impact your team and organization, then you have a clear, specific reason for coming into work each day. We need money to survive and to make it in today’s world. But for the most part, people are motivated by more than a paycheck - by our purpose and the impact we are making. What can you do to reveal each employee’s purpose to them? Or even better, ask your employees what they believe their purpose is.
Encouraging your employees - asking what they believe and helping them feel valued - is incredibly impactful.
#3 Engagement Is Encouraging Your People
We spend the majority of our time at work or doing work. If we are going to be here, and we are going to engage in the company we work for, it helps to know we are safe to be ourselves in the workplace. It also does not hurt to have a little fun! People engage in their work when they find joy in it. Countless studies have shown us lately that the happier people are, the better work they produce. What is your fun factor at work? How are you letting your people know it is safe for them to connect with each other on a human level? How are you celebrating them?
Remember: to be truly effective, engagement must be genuine, must be organic, and must come from a truthful place. Forced engagement campaigns that are all words and no action can actually cause employees to disengage. So when you begin your engagement revitalization, remember that it is about more than posters and more than annual announcements. It is about inviting your people to come alive.
Interested in learning how your employees feel at work? Give them a Employee Engagement Survey as part of our FREE culture assessment!