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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Where Do Engaged Employees Come From?

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Engaged employees are one of the major factors in successful businesses. If employees are engaged , they feel connected to their work and do their work with passion.
That passion and sense of connection helps engaged employees to do better work: they go the extra mile, see (and implement) ways to innovate, and improve your business with their enthusiasm and insight.

However, only about half of employees feel engaged. The rest feel either not engaged (neutral) or actively disengaged (unhappy) at work.

To increase employee engagement in your business, start with this list of proven ways to help employees connect, work with passion, and love what they do.



1. Recognize your high performers.
A little praise goes a long way. Like all of us, your employees appreciate having their efforts and work noticed. But noticing doesn't increase engagement unless you also let them know that you've noticed. Simple verbal praise, alone or in a group, can be very effective . Consider instituting - and giving - regular awards or rewards. Make them meaningful to your business, and more specific than the generic "employee of the month."

2. Get employee input.
Here's a novel idea: instead of guessing, ask your employees what would help them to be more engaged at work. What makes them feel connected? Perhaps it's having a big-picture vision, or big goals to achieve with the team. Or perhaps it's having the opportunity to head up a project or work on different areas.

Your team members can help you see the ways that they feel blocked from engagement. There might be bureaucracy, micromanagement, or certain processes that simply don't work anymore. Your job here is being open to what they say and willing to change in order to remove those obstacles to engagement .

3. Implement good leadership.
A lot of employee engagement depends on the type of leadership in your business. If employees feel that their ideas are rejected without consideration, they stop sharing ideas. If they feel that negativity, gossip, and unhealthy competition pervade the work environment, they will either join in - adding to the problem - or they will withdraw altogether.

Implement good leadership first by being a good leader yourself. Then make sure that the managers you choose value their employees, listen to their concerns, and help them to work in their strengths.

4. Think in the short-term.
Business owners and team leaders are always being told to think long-term, get the big picture, take time for high-level strategic thinking and planning. Those activities are really important.

In order to increase engagement, however, you can't depend on high-level strategy. You need to bring it to the day-to-day level . Turn long-term goals into short-term goals. Track them daily and weekly. Build in milestones that you and your whole team celebrate.

5. Rework the meeting.
Let go of the traditional meeting and turn it into something that employees look forward to.

Each meeting you schedule should meet the following criteria:
- Purposeful. A meeting needs a clear purpose that is limited (specific) and achievable.
- Inclusive. The people directly involved should be there… and that's it.
- Timed. Set a beginning and ending time and stick to them.
- Conversational. Lectures belong in classrooms; discussions belong in meetings.
- Ended with an action plan. Everyone in the meeting should walk away with a clear action or set of actions to take. Otherwise, what's the point of the meeting?

Try a strategy and see how it affects your employees; if the response is positive, try more of the same. If not, try a different strategy. Engaged employees are well worth the effort.

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