Keeping employees engaged can be a difficult task for most managers. Failing to manage employee engagement you will find yourself without good reliable staff in no time. Disengaged employees either leave for better ground or get dismissed for perceived poor performance.
Even the best employees cannot keep themselves engaged all the time and will need management guidance at some stage. "What can I do to keep employees engaged?", is a question often asked by inexperienced managers.
What do I need in order to keep employees engaged?
To answer this question you will need to develop some new skills that will help you in the process of employee engagement. Once you have gone through the pain of recruiting and appointing a new employee it will not help you to leave them to their own means. The induction period is important and will play a major role in your strategy to keep an employee engaged.
- A good starting point will be to ensure that you know your organization and it's long-term goals.
- It is important that as their leader you know why your employees are working for you and what are their needs. This will be a good guideline on how you can keep them engaged. Look at the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as an inspiration to assess your employees.
- Ensure that the employees know their duties and responsibilities from the beginning. Uncertainty can be a good initiator of disengagement.
- Provide them with the tools and means to perform their work. This will create enjoyable working conditions without distraction.
- Set clear goals so all the employees know what they are working for.
- Ask and value employee input. It generates confident employees that feel appreciated.
- Praise good performance and celebrate achievements.
- Allocate tasks that will make employees keen to participate in and give them the opportunity to accept responsibility. Don't shoot down failures with a negative attitude but rather use it as an opportunity to coach your employees.
With time and experience, you will learn that keeping employees engaged is a long-term investment in your own performance and leadership ability. It does not mean what is good and acceptable for an employee today will be still acceptable one year from now.
How do I keep track of employee needs?
Communication and performance feedback. When communicating with a person on a daily basis and by listening well you will be able to observe changes in their perception of needs. Through regular performance appraisals, it will be noticed when an employee is moving up or down the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It becomes more difficult when a person is content with their level of need and as a leader, you will have to work so much harder to keep such employees engaged.