Are You Sparking Engagement in the Workplace?

As always, employee engagement is a hot topic in the business world so #TChat decided to tackle this topic in last Wednesday’s chat. In this chat, the contributors and #TChat ambassadors took the time to really consider what engagement is, what sparks engagement, and what differences it would make for employees and the workplace as a whole.

First, what is engagement? Employee engagement is a management concept that believes if an employee is  fully involved in and passionate about their work/job roles, they will contribute in a way that will be in an organization’s best interest. Employees will work hard to help the organization progress and succeed. This engagement is considered to be measurable in a sense that an employee’s attitude and feelings can influence their willingness to learn, grow, and perform in a way that will benefit the organization. In a manager’s eyes, this is a dream come true. However, the reality of the situation is that many employees aren’t as engaged as management would hope. Why is this and how can we change this?

Some #TChat contributors mentioned the following feelings and thoughts about engagement:

  • Failure is ok: Trust in your employees, allow them to fail, and forgive them for their failures. The important thing is to allow then to try something that might be pushing their comfort zone. And most importantly, help them understand and learn from these failures. This can allow them to succeed in the future.
  • Remember “follow the leader”: Management and leaders need to be engaged, also. Employees look up to managers and leaders for guidance, for a connection, and to understand where they stand in the organization. It’s important for managers and leaders to have certain energy to them, display engagement and passion, and try to fuel engagement in employees by example. After all, to an employee, it’s not a good sign if their manager seems disengaged themselves.
  • Be there for your employees: the fastest way to understand what engages your employees is to recognize that each employee is different and require individual needs. Take the time to see how your employee thinks, feels, and processes different situations/information. From there, ask the employee how you can help them. Too often, management/leaders assume that every employee will respond to one course of action meant to engage them. This is not true. Remember that they are individuals and take the time to help them with their individual needs. It will make a difference.
  • Create a connection: stop with the suggestion boxes and anonymous surveys. It’s impersonal and quite honestly, you will never get the in depth information you need to truly understand how to engage your employees. Open up the ability to connect with your employees by having a real conversation with them. Listen, be open, make them feel comfortable, and be willing to get down to the core of the situation. To understand employees’ needs for engagement, you have to communicate. A piece of paper isn’t going to help you get the best response.

What steps are you taking to engage your employees? Do you realize that every one of them may have a different need? If so, what are you doing to ensure that you are taking the time to understand each of their individual needs? How are you helping them get the support they need to reach their highest level of engagement? Think about it.

If you enjoy topics like this, be sure to check out #TChat on Twitter on Wednesday at 7pm EST.

More Links:

#Tchat Recap by Kathleen Kruse

#Tchat insights on Storify

Talent culture

Photo Source

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Internal Mobility is Good for Your Company

Last night I was involved in another weekly Twitter #tchat (yes, it is my new obsession). Once again, this chat had some great contributors and some interesting information to consider. The chat’s subject discussed how companies and recruiters should focus on internal mobility for filling job openings. It seemed that a lot of the “chatters” felt strongly about this topic and believed that there were many benefits of this promotion track. The common believe was that a solid internal mobility program can be very good for your company.

Here are some informative and useful take-aways I got out of this chat:

Internal mobility can fuel employee engagement. The common theory behind this is: if you invest in your employees they are more likely to invest in you. If you want your employees to be more engaged in their work, make them feel like their contributions have a purpose. Make them know you’re taking notice of them and their efforts. Take time to discuss career goals and offer suggestions on how they can reach them. These things can put a little more pep in their step.

It can reduce turn-over. A good portion of people have admitted to leaving their employer because they felt they had no place to go. Sometimes that may be the case, but a good amount of time there are plenty of lateral or upper positions employees can move into. The issue is: employers don’t educate them on these opportunities. Make your employees aware of this to avoid losing your talent. And if you’re feeling really crazy, allow employees to create and pitch new positions that could be useful to the company (Hello, accountability!).

It can cost less to hire from within than externally. Recruiting and hiring processes are time consuming and expensive. This can be even truer if the candidate that was selected didn’t work out within the first few months. Looking at internal employees might reduce these issues. After all, these employees already know your business expectations and have met them. By now, I’m sure you’ve determined that the employee is a fit for your company. Instead of wasting time looking for diamonds in the rough, consider the gems you already have in your workforce.

Training time can be reduced. Like I mentioned above, the current employees already know your business. They know your systems. They know your managers. They know your clients. They know your mission. Basically, they know everything other than the general duties for the new position. Training them on those duties can be a piece of cake because they already have a clear understanding of how certain procedures affect the company. Think about how quick it would be to train them on those few things rather than an external hire who could take months before they completely understand the business in order to do their job well.

It can increase morale. Nothing can kill an employee’s morale more than watching a position they worked hard for be filled by some random outsider. This situation could even cause some resentment towards the newbie and the company. It is reasonable to say that not all positions can be filled internally. However, to keep the morale up, make sure you offer feedback and mentoring to those not chosen. Even if they don’t get the position, taking time to help them professionally progress can keep their positive feelings about the company intact.

It can make employees feel like they have a goal. Most employees want a job that makes them feel like they’re doing meaningful. They want to be accountable and have a sense of responsibility. However, these feelings can dwindle down if they don’t clearly see how their efforts are contributing to their professional growth. Talk to them about what they want and set a path that helps them progress towards their goal. Productivity could increase once they see how their work is directly correlated with their progression. Moreover, make sure you set realistic timelines and expectations so they don’t get discouraged if things don’t happen right away.

I know that not all job openings can be filled internally. Companies need to throw some new blood into the mix to ensure the workforce does not get stale from recycled perspectives and ideas. External people can bring something fresh into the workplace. However, your internal employees may be able to do the same if you give them a chance to prove it.

If you find this topic interesting, be sure to join in Twitter’s #tchat on Wednesday nights at 7PM EST. Additionally, leave a comment regarding this topic either on here or on the chat.

Links:
Recruiting as an Inside Job- Internal Mobility
Internal Mobility- An Inside Look at Talent