10 Ways to Better Engage Your Employees [Blog]

December 29, 2016 Jennifer Cooper

Strategic hiring is the first step in reducing turnover. But how do you hold onto those ideal employees once you’ve landed them? Talent retention requires ongoing engagement and support.

Use the following strategies to keep your dream team happy.

1. Know what excites employees.

Sit down with workers periodically and brainstorm about how to improve their work experiences Which aspects of their jobs do they love? Which do they hate? Devise individual plans for how they can explore their passion areas while achieving the organization’s desired outcomes.

2. Empower your team members.

The best leaders encourage their staff to take initiative, and they’re willing to help employees rebound if they fail. Workers who have the autonomy to test out new ideas and take initiative are more engaged at work — and they’re more likely to invest themselves in the company. 

3. Practice transparency.

If you want employees to be loyal, you must earn their trust. Offer candid updates about the business’s performance and growth, and address people’s concerns head on. Share the leadership’s vision for the organization, and explain how employees fit into its future. People want to be part of something greater than themselves, so ensure they know how important they are to the company. 

4. Base performance management on clear goals.

Employees often become frustrated when they don’t understand how their bosses judge performance or are unclear on what’s expected of them. According to Gallup, clarity of expectations is one of the top employee needs in any organization. Meet with employees regularly to review their progress and offer feedback.  Ask them how they feel about their performance, and work together to create strategies for how they can improve.

5. Emphasize strengths over weaknesses.

When you’re in a high-stress environment, it’s easy to dehumanize employees and forget the impact their work experiences have on the rest of their lives. Fixating on people’s weaknesses is demoralizing, and it can create negative spirals that cause performance to deteriorate even further.

Instead of focusing on what workers are doing wrong, encourage them to keep up the good work in the areas in which they show promise. 

One Gallup study showed that 61 percent of participants who worked in strengths-focused environments said they were engaged at work, while only 22 percent of people whose managers emphasized weaknesses said the same. Give people opportunities to excel by placing them in training or mentorship roles. The increased responsibility will boost their confidence and their sense of investment in the job.

6. Reward inspirational leadership.

Team members who view their leaders as inspirational are happier and more productive.  Incentivize great leadership among executives by rewarding those who get their employees fired up through coaching, one-on-one progress discussions and initiatives that promote excellence and excitement on the unit.

7. Provide regular state-of-the-company updates.

Don’t leave employees in the dark when the company experiences a rough patch. Rumors rise when organizations keep secrets, so shut half-truths and inaccuracies down by being open with workers.

They may have ideas about how to address problems or create a healthier environment. Regular check-ins help prevent anxiety and suspicion from distracting people while they’re on the job. Informed employees are often happy employees. 

8. Offer career-development assistance.

If you notice employees who seem dissatisfied or unmotivated, resist the urge to let them go. Talk with them about the problems they’re having, and help them identify their core skills. Then encourage them to pursue opportunities that align with their strengths. These conversations may lead them to another department or different career path, but your organization will be stronger for it. Not only will these employees find roles in which they can excel, but prioritizing worker happiness will also raise morale throughout the entire company.

9. Celebrate big and small achievements.

Let employees know you’re paying attention by calling out great performances. A great sales month certainly warrants celebration, but so does exceptional customer service. Surprise the team by taking them out to lunch or by giving employees small gifts when patients praise them specifically. Those touches can make your employees feel valued and appreciated, and the recognition and rewards motivate them to improve. 

10. Compensate employees fairly.

People need to earn livable wages. They may be supporting families, paying for school, or have financial priorities that demand a certain level of salary. You simply cannot retain your best people if you don’t offer competitive pay and benefits.  As the saying goes, you get what you pay for — especially when recruiting the best employees.

About the Author

Jennifer Cooper

Jennifer is the Vice President of RPO Services at Hueman. What’s Most Important? My husband, my family and my two beautiful dogs. In One Word, I Am: Enthusiastic. What Makes Me Tick? Adding value and being helpful. Working on things that matter.

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