5 ways to tailor your engagement efforts to your employees

Motivating a staff might seem like a one-size-fits-all process, but you’ll see much more success if workers at every level contribute ideas and insights.

Engaged employees work to build the bottom line, come up with solutions to work-related problems and often act as evangelists for their companies.

That’s why developing a winning employee engagement strategy is beneficial across the entire organization. Most companies want to engage their workers and have happy employees who are more productive and invested in their job. Few companies succeed, though.

Have you noticed that when you Google “employee engagement suggestions” you find an enormous amount of information? Sifting through the dozens of simple and generalized tips— starting health and wellness programs, offering snacks, and promoting a work/life balance—can be a challenge.

Here are five powerful tactics you can use to build that winning strategy:

1. Establish concrete objectives at the employee level.

You’re already familiar with the importance of setting goals—increasing the base profit margin by X percent, lowering the enterprise’s carbon footprint by a given amount by a particular year, etc. These big goals are essential for success, but they don’t necessarily motivate your employees.

Engaging employees means breaking down company goals into smaller pieces and then creating targets they can see, strive for, and achieve. These objectives might be things like replacing disposable cups with reusable ones or increasing enthusiasm for a faltering project. The point is that giving workers purpose (which is a philosophy Southwest Airlines embraces ) fuels their commitment to the enterprise.

2. Ensure your strategy is easy for employees to begin.

You’ve heard it said that every thousand-mile journey begins with a single step. Getting employees to perform the first action toward engagement is the most difficult part. Once they’ve started to engage, it’s easier for them to engage more often and more fully. So any successful employee engagement strategy should start with a low entry barrier. Don’t expect anything major from your staff in the beginning. Let them begin with something small. They’ll work themselves up to larger, more challenging engagement tasks over time.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Not all staff sit at a desk all day. Here are 10 ways to reach them.

3. Create personalized choices.

People won’t all be passionate about the same things. If your plan offers choices across different topics, your employees are more likely to try it once—and if they try once, it’s easier for them to engage more. Allow them to choose topics they value. It will make them feel more in control of their work environment and create a greater feeling of investment in your business.

4. Produce a bottom-up approach for good employee engagement.

Typically, most of the problems companies face are solved from the top down. People higher up the chain of command analyze the problem, decide on a solution, and pass it down the ladder for those under them to implement. An employee engagement strategy must work opposite to this typical problem-solving method , which can be difficult for some companies. get used to.

Workers must be the ones to develop a successful employee engagement strategy. They know their own minds— as management, you can only guess. A good employee engagement strategy starts with talking to the people who work for you, distributing survey results among not just upper management but middle and lower management. In turn, team managers can directly involve their employees in the strategy creation process.

5. Communicate frequently with your employees.

Your employees want to know that their voices are being heard. Any good employee engagement strategy incorporates this fact. Annual or semi-annual reports on employee engagement are simply not enough. Employee morale—and hence engagement—increases when people feel comfortable communicating with their managers on a frequent basis. And, when managers ask their employees about their feelings and opinions on engagement strategies, those workers are more likely to participate.

Transparency is another important factor to consider. Google, for example, encourages its employees to spend time being creative outside of their regular workday cycles. This promotes imagination and inspiration, but it’s also a fantastic way to let workers incorporate their own interests in their daily work and drive engagement.

Simply knowing what has worked for other companies won’t necessarily help yours. You must tailor employee engagement strategy to your workers’ unique needs and issues. Start by surveying your staff and asking for their opinions, which can lead to an engagement strategy perfectly tailored to your company’s unique employee pool.

Understanding the mindset that goes into creating a working employee engagement strategy, a bottom-up mindset, and knowing a few solid pieces of advice on what has worked for other companies, can help any business create a successful strategy. But don’t think that simply adopting all the elements that worked for other companies will work for everyone else— get your employees to pinpoint their desires for an engagement strategy, and create a tailored plan that meets those expectations. If you do? You will begin to see powerful results that extend across your entire organization.

Meghan M. Biro is founder and CEO of TalentCulture and Founder of #WorkTrends. A version of this article first appeared on v3B.com.

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