Staff engagement among the U.S. workforce has remained steady at 33 percent over the past few years, according to recent data from Gallup. This is quite low considering that strong employee engagement is the catalyst for company growth and success. Numbers worldwide are even starker, with 87 percent of workers reporting being disengaged at the office.
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As managers across the country scramble to increase feelings of ambition,
connection and enthusiasm among employees, they should first start by looking
within. While a wide range of factors can impact one’s feeling of involvement
within his or her company, poor management ranks at the top. Managers are
reportedly responsible for 70 percent of feelings of imbalance and
discontentment. The good news is that there are a number of simple, effective
ways managers can boost employee engagement.
“A great leader understands that the success of a company relies heavily on
the dedication, commitment and achievements of the employees,” says Suzanne
Rice, director of global franchise development for MRINetwork. “By creating
an environment that encourages open communication and fosters trust, managers
have the opportunity to empower their employees to not only become engaged, but
to go above and beyond.”
Rice provides the following tips for raising employee engagement:
1. Cultivate trust
Cultivating an environment of trust is an important way to ensure that all
staff members feel valued, heard and comfortable. Trust is not just about
leaders acting in a fair or equitable manner, being accountable, or honoring
the agreements that they’ve made with staff. Employees also want to feel their
managers will back them up in tough or negative situations, even sharing in the
blame when necessary. When an environment of trust is created in this manner,
it strengthens relationships with employees, making them more likely to want to
work hard and do well. On average, those with supportive supervisors are 67
percent more engaged in the company, based on data from The Energy Group.
2. Promote open
Regular meetings, consistent social contact and open channels for communication
are key for promoting open and honest dialogue between managers and employees.
When managers are empathetic and aware of others, they’re more likely to be in
tune with the general consensus among employees. Responding to all questions,
concerns and feedback - and taking each one seriously - in an adequate time
frame confirms that each employee’s voice is heard and valued.
3. Maintain visibility
Rather than being tucked away in a corner office with the door frequently
closed, managers should be accessible and visible throughout the workplace.
Doing so makes employees feel more comfortable reaching out and asking
questions. It also further enhances open communication. Along the same lines,
recognizing the hard work and accomplishments of employees is just as
important. Publicly acknowledging the work of staff members encourages a
healthy commitment to advancing the organization’s mission.
4. Lead by example
When managers lead by example, not only are employees more likely to remain at
the company, they’re also much more engaged. Workers don’t just want their
leaders to be accountable, they want managers to provide mentorship and
guidance for how to be more effective, based on their own experience. By
demonstrating the behaviors and qualities that are expected of staff members,
and investing time in developing direct reports, managers can boost engagement
and improve work ethic.
“Improving employee engagement should be at the
forefront of a manager’s responsibilities, and holding themselves accountable
is the most effective way to do that,” adds Rice. “When managers are open,
flexible and authentic, employee happiness and engagement will naturally
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Monday, March 28, 2016
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
For more information, view the full "Insightful Hiring: Looking Beyond the Obvious to Uncover Right-Fit Candidates" article on MRINetwork by clicking here.