Defining Engagement: Involved or Removed?

Engaged: busy or occupied; involved.

These days, with the wide range of distractions that present themselves at work; it is quite simple to be “busy” or “occupied”.  The true key to being engaged in the workplace is the ladder of the definition, “involved”.  Are you involved in the work you produce, or are you merely busy; occupied?

A recent employee engagement study, from Blessing White Research, concluded that only 31 percent of employees are engaged at work.  A lack of engaged employees can create a snowball effect resulting in not only one weak link, but over time disgruntled co-workers and frustrated management.  The added stress on managers and staff can eventually lead further into unsatisfied customers due to a lack of cheerful, enthusiastic customer service.

Here are a few tips from the Northeast Human Resources Organization and Profiles International for managing employee engagement within your organization:

  • Two way communication:  Maintaining a clear line of communication between staff and management; as well as front-line managers and top management is vital to success.  Each division of employment must be open to the opinions of others and willing to discuss disagreements.  Feedback is most effective when it is immediate; be sure to reward good habits and behavior when it occurs and put an end to negative actions when they are seen.  Employees need to know when they have done something wrong as quickly as possible so they can correct the problem.
  • Employees understand their role:  Everyone in the organization must be working toward the same goals and visions.  It is also imperative that each member of the team know their purpose and where they fit into achieving ultimate goals.  Make training and coaching available to employees so they can stay up to date on the latest trends in the industry.
  • Trust:  If there is not a concise direction and management breaks promises, employees will not trust their leaders.  It is shown that employees’ trust in executives has twice the impact on engagement levels than trust in immediate managers. Top leadership needs to gain the trust of everyone in the organization in order to be successful.
  • Empowerment:  As managers, when you ask for feedback, be certain to acknowledge the responses you receive.  If opinions and suggestions are openly disregarded and never addressed, employees will feel they have no say in their positions or within the organization.

By taking the necessary steps toward creating engaged employees, you create happier, more productive employees who will work harder for your company, because they will genuinely care about its success.

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