Engagement and how to create it

Here’s a rather startling statistic. Before the pandemic, a Gallup survey revealed that 67% of the global workforce was either not engaged or actively disengaged at work. 67%! Not engaged means they are turning up for work, doing the bare minimum, and going home. Actively disengaged means they are actually blocking progress.

Even more concerning is that since Covid hit, research by HowNow shows that two-thirds of UK employees now feel even less connected than before, with only a fifth of workers having spoken to their line manager in the last ten days.

Why is this so worrying?

The majority of leaders do recognise that creating an environment that engages their people is a top priority — but disappointingly, only a third of them actually do anything about it.

There are four key areas at the heart of most problems. These are:

· Poor management

· No work/life balance

· A misalignment between the person’s skills and their role

· A lack of recognition

What is engagement?

So, we can see that engagement is a bit of an intangible. But that doesn’t mean that steps can’t be taken to improve levels of it. Here are some suggestions at areas that can be looked at.

Encourage input and listen to it

Gaining feedback is the easy bit. Properly assessing it and feeding back the input and what you are doing about it is where it can improve engagement. This can be done through regular communications that share the responses and detail what the management team is doing about it.

Anonymous surveys will give you honest answers, but the downside is you can only ask general questions. To find out how you could improve an individual’s development opportunities, of course, you have to speak directly to them. This leads us on to our next suggestion.

Foster a culture of trust

By trusting and empowering your team, you treat them as grown-ups. People work best when they feel they have control over their own work — but also know they can seek guidance, without criticism, when needed. Managers need to lead by example, admitting to mistakes and explaining what they have learned from them, telling the truth, communicating well and being supportive when necessary.

In a study by Google over two years, the most important factor in creating a successful team was psychological safety. This means staff feeling that they can try new things and take risks knowing they will not be punished if things go wrong.

Invest in wellbeing

But you need to look deeper than this at the culture of your organisation. Are people regularly still in the office at 7 pm? Do managers send emails to their team at the weekend? Do staff turn up when they are clearly ill?

Great employers don’t expect their staff to work 12 hours a day to cope with their workload or feel terrified of reporting sick. If this is happening, you need to make changes from the top down.

Connect with your team

Having colleagues who recognise this and can celebrate the good stuff and commiserate the not so good in both work and home lives brings a sense of community.

Simply asking how your people are doing and then really listening to their answers is a simple way to make them feel valued.

This is very closely related to recognition. Of course, you celebrate the big wins but recognise the small things too. Something as simple as a well-timed comment like ‘you always brighten my day because you are so positive’ in response to a suggestion from a team member can work wonders.

In conclusion, everyone would like to feel as though they are a valued member of a work community and that their efforts help ensure the continued growth and development in their careers. There are many other areas that you can address that will improve engagement, for example, the celebration of identity, being a champion for people who are afraid to speak up, encouraging employee-centric communities, or developing a strong corporate social responsibility. But the key is to align the needs of the people with the business objectives.

Have you addressed any specific areas to improve engagement — and if so, what were the results?

Originally published at https://www.proactive.it on June 15, 2021.

http://Proactive.IT The UK SPECIALISTS in IT RECRUITMENT The experience to know what matters. The ability to make it count. #UK #ITjobs #recruitment

http://Proactive.IT The UK SPECIALISTS in IT RECRUITMENT The experience to know what matters. The ability to make it count. #UK #ITjobs #recruitment