Developing and engaging. The biggest underlying theme for engaging employees is not tracking their every move, or even their happiness, but to inspire them to do their job to the fullest extent and to do it well, and then enjoyment with their work will come. Employees that are properly engaged tend to be more effective and productive.
Transparency. For many years transparency has had a different meaning. Now employees consider insight into business performance and operations as a necessity to fully rally behind a company. Private companies are not required to publish financial information, however, those that choose to share this information internally with its employees have had better luck with either encouraging or inspiring their employees to do better. This helps employees better understand their contribution to the company. Additionally, what is sometimes better insight than financial numbers is performance and operating metrics.
Communication. Employees need to be informed and feel involved. As a result, being transparent is fundamental. This can include periodic meetings or updates on the company’s status and goals; these should be broken out both broadly and specifically, as to allow for celebrating milestones along the way.
Start early. Part of the continued employee engagement process begins with the hiring process and ensuring solid fits with respect to company setting and culture. This includes actively conveying the company values in the beginning and before hiring. Also, convey expectations and goals of the position. This will go a long way in making sure the overall engagement strategy is effective.
Team. Part of developing employees is to ensure they are not overworked. Ensure the proper team is in place, and that employees have the right support and are not understaffed. This includes recognizing when an employee does not fit with the team and being able to quickly and delicately remove that person.
Continuous feedback. Assess your employees and company constantly. Monthly, semi-annually or annually is not enough; if you wait that long to address issues your employees will lose encouragement and leave managers frustrated. Continuous feedback is difficult if only in-person meetings are used. Many tools offer social based feedback and easy exchange of feedback from managers. It is hard for employees to be able to make necessary changes and develop their skills if feedback is only periodic.
Objectives. Set expectations, reasonable and obtainable ones. This will allow employees to know what you expect, but also allow them to gauge their progress. Objectives should include development goals that come from feedback reviews.