GUEST BLOG: Dean Williams on the rules of employee engagement

Employee engagement is a phrase much circulated around the business world at present, but do we really understand its importance? Are we aware of what to do as leaders/managers?

We all know that having the 'right' employees is critical to the success of your business. Finding the right employees is one thing, but keeping them happy is another.

Too often taken for granted by managers and categorised as 'good guys', your best people need to constantly be engaged in order to maintain standards and ideally raise the bar even higher.

We spend a considerable amount of time with those that require hand holding - but to what cost? There is a balance to be sought but are you getting it right? Well, let's find out...

There are effectively three 'rules for engagement', when it comes to maintaining the high performance of individuals;

Firstly, recognise existence. Do your best people know they exist? Sounds obvious, but when was the last time you took the time to show that genuine personal interest in them? Too often left to 'their own devices' because they deliver... they still need that personal touch.

Secondly, state their purpose. When was the last time you reiterated what it is that they do brilliantly well and why?

An engaged employee needs to feel like they can genuinely impact the business in terms of direction and results. Do yours feel like they can impact the quality of your product or service? That they can impact costs?  That they can play a role in innovating new products/services? That they can increase the profitability of the firm? If not, why not? People need to know how their role makes a difference to the business - what contribution they make. Find compelling reasons why the business needs them and deliver the message.

Lastly, internal transparency of value. This is different to you pointing out their value (see above). Do they really see it/feel it themselves? Sound objective setting linked to the performance of the business helps massively. It needs to be visually tangible to them.

Three rules, fairly self explanatory but to be ignored at tremendous risk.  Think accordingly and act now ... no matter how good we are - we all need that reinforcement regardless of what else is on your daily agenda.

Remember, far from being a requirement that is satisfied by perks, employee engagement is a direct reflection of how employees feel about their relationship with their boss. You make the difference.

Suggested reading: The Three Signs Of A Miserable Job - Patrick Lencioni.

Dean Williams works with business owners, directors and senior managers helping them arrive at decisions that will successfully impact their bottom line. Find out more about dwexecutivecoach.co.uk

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