You know that disengaged people are costly to your business. You probably know that it’s difficult to engage these people, and it may even be a lost cause, so why bother?
What does people engagement really mean? It is the free breakfast, is it the ping-pong table in the corner of the office? Is it the state-of-the-art office, the casual dress Friday, the latest iPhone or Mac computer, the beer in the fridge, the work from home policy, the maternity/paternity leave policy, the gym allowance, the blah, de blah de blah?
Actually, these perks are just that, perks. They are not benefits and as such do not drive an increase in people engagement. They are a benefit for those that actually see benefit in these things.
So, if this does not create engaged employees, what does?
Asking their opinion and valuing it – or at least considering their input rather than dismissing it. Employees want to be heard, and they want to feel that what they have to offer is contributing to the organisation.
If you want to create a disengaged workplace, shut people down and you’ll succeed. No employee starts a new job with an attitude of not wanting to give their all – they start wanting to make a contribution. Let them. Encourage their contributions and let them flourish.
Listen to their ideas, praise them in front of their peers for their contribution, allow employees the freedom to discover new ways of doing the same old thing to build efficiency. Consider having them present to the team on something that they’re passionate about.
As a manager, provide consistent feedback and seek feedback from each employee. Talk to your people rather than managing them from afar and basing it on the data in a spreadsheet or report.
Employees will seek to be heard and valued more than they seek benefits. I know of one organisation that offer a fantastic maternity leave policy.. There is still disengagement in parts of that organisation because people get overlooked for promotion opportunities and their views are not taken into consideration.
This type of disengagement leads to turnover. This company also offers drinks each Friday, employee parties every month and benefits out the wazoo. People still consider leaving based on the sole reason that they are not heard.
To create an engaged workplace, fight for your team and ensure they are heard and their opinions are valued. Don’t overload already overworked people. If you have to manage out under-performers, do so....swiftly.
People engagement is more than free beer, ping-pong tables and casual Fridays. These benefits add to fun in the office but it is just that...fun.
Engagement will add value for your customers and it will lead to your success as a business. Seek to create an environment where people don't want to leave.