What is “employee engagement”? Psychologists, sociologists and CEOs alike are still arguing about the proper definition of the term, but they agree on the basics: An engaged employee is fully absorbed, satisfied, and furthers the organization’s mission through positive action.
As an emerging leader, you probably embody engagement, and you know how it affects your productivity.
What is the link between engagement and productivity?
Gallup has been conducting an ongoing study of international workplaces, monitoring how employee engagement levels affect output and performance. The study claims that if each organization were to double its customers, they could potentially save their countries’ economies. The study spans over 140 countries, and has been conducted over the past five years. If this is true, then there may be a way to improve both focus and output in your team.
Improving employee engagement
What can you do to encourage high employee engagement in your team members, leading to increased productivity and better performance? Here are a few you can take to create a perfect environment for enthusiastic workers:
1. Use positive leadership strategies
Positive management can do wonders for engagement. Employees should receive feedback and advice from their supervisors, always telling them what they did right, or gently rebuking them for mistakes. This doesn’t mean leniency, it just means encouraging employees to be actively engaged in their work and organization. Also, when the supervisor passes praise on from the higher-ups — like “the CEO was very impressed with your latest report” — it can go a long way to improve an employee’s work ethic.
2. Leverage your team’s strengths
Instead of fixing an employee’s weaknesses, learn to manage in a way that focuses on each employee’s strengths. If you constantly tell someone what they can’t do, you’re damaging the employee’s ego, leading to disengagement and distaste for the office environment. If you focus on their strengths, it will buoy your employees up and fill them with confidence. Feeling both appreciated and valued will increase employee engagement, and ensure that your team shines in its performance.
3. Enhance well-being
Gallup’s study found that engaged employees are in better health than those who are actively disengaged. Whether health benefits are the chicken or the egg is uncertain, but employers should still invest in wellness programs for employees to participate in. Making a conscious effort to enhance the well-being of your team will help you move closer to maximum productivity. Studies also show that once employees are engaged, they require much less in terms of medical benefits, so you will actually be saving healthcare cost.
These three key factors offer a great starting point for improving engagement and productivity, but as an emerging leader, you surely have other ideas about how to manage your teams. Incorporate these concepts into your other engagement-minded strategies to help your organization excel.