Five tips for wildly engaged employees

By Allison Downey

Whether you’re a locally-owned start-up company or a multi-billion dollar global corporation, these five quick tips will help you to keep your employees motivated, exhilarated and excited to come to work each day.

#1 Understand Your Employees

Engagement isn’t something we can approach blind. Helping employees to understand their strengths and how to best leverage them makes your team more productive, excited about the job they do and encourages ownership. Start by finding ways to measure your employees’ level of engagement. Investing in nationally accredited tools like Gallup’s Q12 or the Melcrum survey is a great start, if budget permits. If you’re operating on a much smaller economical scale, consider doing some research on questions to ask of your employees and create a survey on your own. However, it is imperative that your employees’ responses are confidential AND anonymous. Good, bad or indifferent, your employees must feel that they can be completely candid in order for you to truly understand the state of affairs. But beware! Surveys alone won’t boost employee engagement. It’s the actionable steps you take following the survey that truly matter.

#2 It’s About Ownership

It’s the employees who manage engagement, but they need a guiding force. Whether your team is made up of 10 individuals in a small office
or 50,000 people across the globe, engagement is most successful when it’s being properly guided. Delegate one or two individuals (or 25) to spearhead the engagement efforts at your organization. These people are responsible for surveying and monitoring the engagement of all employees, offering support to those who may be less engaged than others and recommending to management ways in which the organization can greater benefit and provide for its employees.

#3 Engagement Isn’t Just Hosting Events

Holiday parties and employee barbecues can help to connect employees with one another on a much higher level than what we see on a normal work day. But throwing parties isn’t enough. Employees want to feel a much stronger connection to their organization than just seeing the CEO once a year at the Fourth of July picnic. Invite your employees to participate in meetings (where permissible) with management teams to discuss the strategy of the organization. Make sure they know their opinions count and their hard work and commitment to the company is valued. There is a crucial difference between employee satisfaction and employee engagement.

#4 Engagement Keeps the Doctor Away

With the ever increasing costs of health insurance, the health and wellbeing of your employees is more important now than it ever was before. Investing in an employee wellness plan is essential in keeping individuals happy and showing that your organization truly cares about the welfare of its employees. Not to mention, a healthy employee is a more productive employee. Don’t have a wellness plan in place? Start small. See if a local gym can offer discounted rates to your employees. Arrange for a food vendor to set up shop in your lunchroom a few days a week to provide healthy options to your employees. Host lunch and learns for your employees and invite local nutritionists to speak or a Zumba instructor to teach a 30-minute class. Every effort can lead to a more healthy and energized workforce.

#5 It’s a Team Effort

Employees want to feel like they’re a part of something bigger. Work to make sure each and every employee truly understands how his or her role, day in and day out, contributes to the bigger picture. Employees should understand the goals of the company and what drives its success – and why their piece of the puzzle is crucial to the business. Empower your team (not your “staff”) to make monumental contributions to the success of your company and help them to realize their greatest potential.

Allison Downey is the Corporate Communications Specialist at RTI Surgical, a leading global surgical implant company based out of Alachua, Fla. Allison is heavily involved in RTI’s 20-member Impact Team and works to further develop RTI’s Gallup and strengths-based culture.

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