Presenteeism—or when employees show up at work physically but are unfocused and mentally elsewhere—is running rampant in the modern workplace. According to many recent studies, employee disengagement is at an all time high. We all dream of walking into work to find a motivated, keyed-in, ready-to-go team, but unfortunately that just isn’t the reality for the majority of businesses. But there is good news: this doesn’t have to remain true for you and your team. With a little bit of intention and a whole bunch of elbow grease, you can foster a culture of engaged employees.
Communication is Key
When it comes to creating a team engaged with their work and workplace, clear communication will go far. Encourage your team to speak up and voice their ideas. Even more importantly, make sure that you listen! Studies show that employees who hesitate to join in workplace conversations generally fail to act because they are afraid of criticism or being undermined. By creating a culture where employees are heard and valued, you can help your employees feel a sense of ownership over their work.
Recognize and Reward
No one likes to feel overlooked or undervalued. When an employee goes above and beyond but isn’t recognized for their hard work, they are more likely to check out and phone it in on their next project. Make sure to take note and celebrate the victories in your team. However, a word of warning: make sure not to go overboard. Over-rewarded employees may soon get too comfortable and begin to let standards slip. It’s a fine line to walk, but a necessary one. A little celebration will go a long, long way.
One option is to encourage your team to celebrate one another. By creating a culture of shared success and celebration, employees are not only investing in their own work but also one another’s. A strong sense of community will help engage your employees in your business.
Respect, Respect, Respect
The golden rule: treat others the way that you would like to be treated. It’s an adage we have heard since we were running around on the playground, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind when creating an environment of engagement in your workplace. Act fairly, treat your team with respect, and their trust and engagement will follow. By definition, employees who feel uneasy and disrespected at their jobs won’t put in a lot of effort. In fact, they may soon go out looking for new opportunities. You’re the leader, after all! So lead! Model the behavior you’d like to see from your team.
Another way to look at this is to not think of your employees as your employees. Think of them as partners in your business. They are also sharing in the successes and failures of your company. When your team invests themselves, recognize that investment with the respect it deserves.
Looking to get your team more engaged this May? Contact Leadership Delta today! We have the experience and know-how to get your team dedicated and invested in their work this summer.