Last week I talked about the importance of getting to know your customers and collecting their feedback. This week, I want to bring the focus a little closer to home, to the employees. No matter how you slice it, your employees are the key in making everything happen. Without them there would simply be no company. However, we often forget that and observe a diminishing engagement and lack of morale. So what should you do to make sure your team stays as enthusiastic about the future as they were on day one? I am sure these tips will help put you on the right track.
- Define the rules of the game
Before even talking about empowering and engaging employees, you should make sure that there are clear rules to define the processes. Not only that, but that you also take some time and talk these rules out with your team. Have an open discussion about the management practices and you will be surprised about the valuable feedback and insights that will be offered. This way, you will not only make sure they know the rules, but also have the team be part of their creation.
Genuine interest and open doors will put you ahead of the game.
- Treat your team like adults
One of the biggest issues when keeping employees engaged and happy is micromanagement. It is understandable that you want to make sure everything goes smoothly and according to plan, but at some point it is imperative you let go. Your employees are professionals that you have hand-picked to represent you so make sure to treat them accordingly. Empower the team to make their own decisions, let go of the reigns and observe. Let them prove to you that they can perform and only intervene when it is absolutely necessary. You will have a more engaged and self-sufficient team than you would ever have micromanaging their every move.
Act the way you would like to be treated when asked to do a job – trust is your best friend.
- Ask to explain the issues
Another big boost to morale and productivity is the ability to talk out the issues. Schedule a monthly meeting with each team where the sole purpose is to talk about the issues they are facing and to look for their solutions. Make sure this meeting is about the team dynamics and the processes and not about the current project or deadline. This way you will create a platform for the team to share their concerns in a safe space, a place to look for solutions and a feeling that everyone is heard and valued. It will be difficult to get the ball rolling the first few times, but asking the right questions and taking up a role of a colleague instead of a leader, will go a long way.
Treat these meetings as a safe space, so that everyone can voice their opinions.
- Give credit when credit’s due
Besides making sure the team is heard and treated correctly, you should always make an effort to give credit to those that deserve it. Too often we forget to thank or praise the team members that are crucial to the operation. And while you might think they will still know they are valued, their feeling might be different. Celebrate wins often and publicly, thus shoving the rest of the team what to strive for and how their efforts will be rewarded in the future.
Celebrate your company and your people with pride.
- Measure the satisfaction
Few business decisions are made without insight and data, so employee engagement should not be any different. Do not limit yourself to team meetings – set up a system to measure satisfaction on a daily basis. The way you approach this will be crucial and could determine if the employees see it as a positive thing that it is. Make the survey anonymous, and rotate employees so that they don’t get fed up. The results will provide you with valuable insight and help you better prepare on introducing big news to the team in the future.
Measure satisfaction to know when your team needs a pick me up.
How do you keep the team motivated and engaged? Share your thoughts and tips with us in the comments!