Make Your Employees Love Their Jobs Again!
Employees should love their jobs
The following article is a guest post and may contain affiliate links:
If you think that your employees are coming into work every day with great big smiles their faces, then you may be slightly delusional! In reality, well over half of all employees are totally disengaged at work. Obviously, you’re not going to be getting the best you can out of your workforce if they’re resenting the work that you’re putting in front of them. Getting your employees actively engaged with work is a real challenge, that requires a lot of analysis and improvement in various different areas of your company. Although it’s hard, accomplishing this certainly isn’t impossible! If you’re finding employee engagement tough to pin down, here’s a guide to getting your employees to love their jobs.
First of all, focus on their strengths. Aside from your end customer, your employees are the most important people to the business. I bet you’d find it a little tough to keep the company moving if everyone abruptly disappeared! Because these people are so important, you need to ensure you’re giving them the chance to really shine in the workplace. When employees feel like they’re being allowed to exercise their professional strengths, engagement invariably goes up. Let’s say you have someone who really excels as a leader. You should be giving them more opportunities to take charge of upcoming projects. If someone’s great at number-crunching, then let them do this rather than forcing them to sit in on a marketing brainstorming session. When you’re empowering your employees by playing their strengths as much as possible, they’ll become far more aware of what they contribute to the company. This, in turn, will give them a greater sense of personal responsibility, and more pride in their achievements.
Setting goals the SMART way
Next, create fulfilling, but realistic goals for everyone. Like any business owner, you’ve probably got some pretty big plans for your business’s future. However, there’s no way that your employees are going to be able to accomplish everything you’d like them to overnight. With this in mind, you need to create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-constrained) goals to keep them on track. This has become such a popular formula for individual goal-setting because it’s seen as a perfect middle ground. It challenges your employees enough to keep the whole business hitting its quotas and targets on time, while ensuring that it stays within their abilities, and doesn’t pile on the stress. Stress, as I’m sure you can imagine, is one of the biggest factors which causes people to resent their jobs. If you’ve got a massive project or deadline on the horizon, and you’re worried about how your workforce is currently performing, then breaking it down into more measurable, SMART goals, will make it easier for the whole workforce to remain engaged and focussed.
Sometimes, in order to increase employee engagement, you need to take your focus off of the core of your workforce, and take it up a level to your management. The people you choose to promote as managers is going to have a massive, direct impact on how engaged and satisfied your employees are at work. If you’re working under a poor manager, who can’t organize a department properly and never listens to your comments and complaints, you’re not going to be all that motivated to give it your all, are you? With low employee engagement costing your business so much, you can’t afford to have people in managerial positions if they’re going to be sapping engagement. The next time you’re choosing managers, have some strict criteria and stick to it. Generally, you want people who have proven themselves to have excellent organizational skills, and value transparent communication and collaboration. These two qualities are what’s going to bring the whole team together, make them more cohesive, productive, and of course, engaged! While you might be able hit the nail on the head, don’t just assign managers and then leave them to it! To ensure you’re getting the most out of them, you need to organize continual training and plans for personal development. Services like the ones from http://www.elliswhittam.com can be a huge help in this. By improving your managers’ leadership skills and setting them targets for improvement, you’ll ensure that engagement keeps getting better and better.
How to be a good manager
Part of your managerial training, and your plans for improving as a CEO, should be putting a strong emphasis on listening to your core employees. Despite open communication being absolutely critical to an efficient and well-oiled workplace, countless employees feel like the higher-ups at their organizations aren’t listening to them. Obviously, not everyone who works at a business can be the creative driving force behind it all. Still, if you were coming in day after day, mentioning things which you’d like to be different to your managers and boss, and still not seeing any kind of change, I’m sure you wouldn’t feel too inclined to really get stuck into your work. Any business owner who seriously wants to boost engagement within their organization has to make sure that their employees are being listened to, both by themselves and all the more minor managers. Some will offer terrible ideas, and some will complain about every little detail of how a project is being run. However, if you don’t take the time to listen, you’re not fulfilling your job as CEO! As part of this change, you should be taking steps towards a company culture that encourages all workers to be a little more innovative, and to start thinking outside the box. As you hold your ear to the ground more, you’re likely to start noticing many different creative, but currently idle ideas floating around the office. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your drive towards engagement, go out of your way to tap into the creativity in your workplace. It may not all be helpful, but when your staff see that their efforts to improve the company are being recognized and taken on board, they’ll be far more motivated to grind towards success. When you see your own creative ideas making up part of a working, functioning business, you’ll naturally become more invested. You can read up on encouraging innovation in your employees at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ .
Celebrate good times...at work
As a business owner, you can never underestimate the value of celebrating your employees either, and making a big deal about the work they’ve done for the company. At the end of the day, we’re all egotistical creatures. When we’ve put a lot of effort towards a certain task, we want to be recognized for it. If all your employees are putting in the same amount of effort, and accomplishing things of similar significance, it can be easy for praise and congratulations to fade into the background. Don’t let this become an issue at your organization! Overlook their successes and accomplishments, and you’ll only wind up making your workforce unhappy and dissatisfied with their life at your company. You don’t need to get up on a podium and present them with an award every time one of your workers accomplish something. However, finding small, simple ways to celebrate their success will go a long way to improving employee morale and engagement. One popular ritual is starting off staff meetings by thanking some of your workers for their hard work in the previous week, and citing a specific way that they’ve helped the business towards its larger goals.
All of these points are exceedingly valuable, and have been found to improve employee engagement time and time again in a wide range of different working environments. To round off this list, I thought I’d share a formula known as the three I’s. These I’s are the three things you need to give your employees to ensure they succeed and stay engaged with the work they’re doing: Information, Independence, and Involvement. Knowledge is power in business, and there’s an obvious need to keep your employees informed. The more your workers understand about their jobs, the better results you’ll be able to get out of them, and the more engaged they’ll be with the task at hand. Independence is also exceptionally important, and yet a lot of business owners struggle to really provide this to their workers. You may think that constantly hanging over their shoulders and micro-managing their smaller targets is helpful, but in reality, you’ll only be giving them one more reason to be bitter and resentful about their work. Give them some wiggling room, and let them make their own decisions about how they’re going to approach a task. Whether it works or it doesn’t, they’ll learn a lot more, and be more engaged with what they’re doing. This ties in with the final I: involvement. As your business grows and expands, you’re going to have less and less time to manage individual employees. This means that you’re going to have to make them more involved in decision making, especially when those decisions have a direct impact on the work that they’re doing. This will help them to develop useful insight about their specific job, and make them more aware of how their work affects everyone else in the business.