We all know the look of a disengaged employee. They’re surfing Facebook with a bored look on their face, glancing at the clock every few minutes but the workplace doesn’t have to look like a jail cell full of employees expecting release in 8-9 hours.
Work can be fulfilling for managers and employees! Below are three practices of managers with engaged employees that you should adopt now!
- Inspire them: Inspire them through your work, through your organization’s good deeds, and through your clients’ positive experiences.
As a manager, one of your important duties is to be an example to your team. That doesn’t mean putting in 80 hour weeks and sleeping in your office but rather doing good work. That might seem like an oversimplification but we all know what doing good work means for us and chances are, if you think you’re killing it on your latest project, your team will agree and take notice.
Inspire them through the positive impact of your organization. Whether you’re part of a school serving families in your community or a big corporation that gives back 1% of its profits, make sure your employees know about their organization’s good deeds. “Employee Engagement levels are twice as high among employees who say they are proud of contributions their organization has made to the community.” What if your company does nothing to give back? It’s time to start! You could organize a team to spend an hour at a homeless shelter during the holidays. Be creative! When you invest in giving back, your employees will value their contributions and themselves!
Inspire them through your customers’ glowing reviews. At Baudville, we have several strategically placed monitors that show company news, peer-to-peer recognition, and positive customer reviews. It’s inspiring to see how impressed Mike from Chicago was with our products and exceptional customer service. Try printing your best feedback and putting it on a bulletin board or even email it to your team in a motivational message. I’m tellin’ ya, it feels good to make others feel good.
- Be Kind to Them: Show your employees genuine kindness by simply listening when they talk, taking a moment to recognize their shining moments and being there for them when they’re down.
Take notes from the inspiration for this post, To Motivate Employees, Do 3 Things Well from the Harvard Business Review. They said it best with “Simply asking how someone is doing personally and really listening to their answer is a good first step.” I once worked for someone who would ask me how I was or how I would be spending my weekend and then disappear into his office before I could get a word out. Eventually those exchanges left me pretty disheartened. Besides, research shows that an employee’s relationship with their manager is extremely important to their satisfaction and engagement at work. “80% of employees dissatisfied with their direct managers were disengaged.”
To recognize your employees’ achievements, feel free to employ some low cost appreciation techniques. A quick personal word at their desk, an email, or a free e-Praise card has a low impact on your bottom line and your time while having a huge impact on your employees’ outlook.
To be there during the tough times, offer a kind word or two if life has dealt them a tough blow and aim to place a phone call as soon as you learn of the death of a loved one. To Motivate Employees, Do 3 Things Well tells of a CEO who, after hearing of a brain cancer diagnosis in one of his executives, “called her within 15 minutes, asking how he and the organization could support her.”
- Encourage Balance: Encourage your team to take breaks, leave work on-time, and leave work at work.
Encouraging balance in the workforce can be tricky. After all, we want our employees to work hard and be available when we need them. But, if you foster a culture of balance and acceptance it’ll lead you to getting and keeping the best people while getting the best from your people.
From offering on-staff masseuses to the availability of nap pods, some companies are really using their resources to encourage balance. The thing is, many of those solutions are anything but depending on an organization’s circumstances. A small company of 10 or less employees would have a hard time financing an on-site gym. In the end, simple is better and encouraging balance is simple. Allow for time off, discourage midnight emailing, and most importantly, don’t nurture unrealistic expectations. You know what they say – Happy employees, happy life – or something like that!