In today’s workforce, a large number of employees are disengaged and consistently not working at full productive capacity.
In fact, about $11 billion is lost each year due to employee turnover, and companies with engaged employees outperform companies with disengaged employees by 202%.
According to a recent study, engaged employees—those with an emotional and functional commitment to an organization—possess the following four traits:
- Enthusiasm—employees love their work
- Empowerment—when employees are allowed to do work their way
- Inspiration—this results from good leadership
- Confidence—a feeling they can achieve excellence in the workplace
With these traits in mind, here are some tips on improving productivity and engagement at any organization:
Provide training, training and more training
This is no surprise. Training helps employees develop their talents and empowers them to become more effective and engaged in their roles. Employees who take part in training and development programs are better able to perform at work and have more confidence on the job.
A company’s investment in training proves to employees they are valued. And employees who get training opportunities tend to feel more satisfaction toward their jobs. According to a recent SHRM study of 600 employees, 42% percent of employees view job-specific training as very important to their job satisfaction, while 47% view training as important.
Respect employees as individuals
Research shows that when leaders are fair to team members, employees display more citizenship behavior and are more productive—both individually and as a team. The bottom line is that respect is a simple, but powerful motivator. When employees feel genuinely respected, they are more likely to go the extra mile in their jobs.
Provide meaningful and constructive feedback
Employee feedback is a critical management skill. The tricky part is delivering effective and supportive feedback in a way that encourages, rather than discourages, employees. While feedback is not always positive, it must be communicated in a constructive manner (have suggestions ready on how the employee can improve their performance) and on a regular basis—so employees understand exactly how they are performing in their roles and what they need to do to improve.
Foster trust and strong relationships
Employees want leaders to trust them—not micromanage them. In any job, risk taking and exploration provides employees with the ability to learn and improve their job skills.
Developing personal relationships is vital because these relationships really do matter. Business revolves around teamwork and collaboration to make things happen—whether it’s developing a product, delivering a service or forming a partnership.
Consistently connect with employees. Be sure to help them navigate their talents and skill set, as well as their roles in the organization. Take time to discuss an employee’s strengths—and how these can make a difference in the organization. These connections will help strengthen an employee’s commitment.
Employee engagement and productivity are critical in every organization. By consistently focusing on training, feedback, relationships, trust and respect, organizations can significantly boost productivity and engagement.