How it begins…
We all know the story. A young, ambitious professional joins the firm, full of life, fire, idealism, passion and ready to take on the world.
Fast forward a few short months and that same professional lives in gray scale. Too many dull meetings, no more paper in the copier, yet another tedious email from “executive leadership”.
Our young professional is burnt out. She once brought life and vitality to the firm. Now she spends too much time perusing social media, or worse, job boards.
What happened? Was it a ruse? Was she a “bad cultural fit” from the beginning?
The reality is that your firm may suffer from a lack of employee engagement. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can changethat. You can re-engage those employees, bring them back out of 9 – 5 purgatory, and help them rediscover their passion.
So how do you do that?
5 Keys to Improving Employee Engagement
There are 5 simple things that you can do to improve employee engagement:
Show that Management is Sincere
Our employees need to know that we care about them – not just as cogs in an ever-chugging machine, but as professional human beings. We can demonstrate this care by holding employee-lead one-on-ones, offering opportunities for professional development, and showing genuine interest and appreciation.
Demonstrate a commitment to customer satisfaction
Nobody wants to work for a “soul-less” corporation. We want to know that our hard work, effort, and 1/3 of our day is going to a noble cause. Our employees are no different.
The best way to demonstrate your company’s “soul” is by showing a genuine concern for serving your customers … you know, the reason you’re in business. If you treat your customers like they’re stupid or inconvenient, you may be ripping the “soul” out of your company, and your employees are going to notice.
Highlight the organization’s reputation in the community
Whether you are making headlines with your philanthropic work, dominating the Yelp! reviews, or tout a consistent 5-star rating on Google – celebrate it! Your employees want to know that your company is making a difference – not just to your individual customers, but to the community at large. They want to feel proud of where they work, they want to brag!
Ensure that Employees have the authority to perform their job
It may be that there is truly a need for your employees to check in with you before performing some tasks. However, unless you’re in a heavily regulated industry, that should be the rare exception. Our employees crave our trust, and the ability to perform their jobs unhampered by bureaucratic nonsense. Trust them, give them the tools to excel, and they will.
Offer opportunities for professional development
When we offer our employees opportunities to expand their knowledge or skills, we are showing them that they are valuable members of our team. They are worth investing in. Sending an employee to a conference, or paying for on online class is a fantastic way to show our appreciation.
If you have an employee who seems to have lost their passion, don’t give up on them without a fight. Too often I’ve seen managers throw their hands up and claim “it’s an attitude problem!”. While that may be true, we have the responsibility to do our part.
Show your employees that you care about them, that you’re willing to invest in them, that their work is meaningful. See if you can’t help them rediscover that passion that drove them to accept a position at your company in the first place.