Keeping employees engaged, and in turn productive, can sometimes be one of the toughest challenges facing business leaders.
According to Trevor Wilson, HR strategist at TWI, leaders must up the ante in the effort they’re putting in to ensure work is more than just a paycheck.
“Even though that’s ostensibly why we go to work, it’s not what gets us excited and enthusiastic about what we do. Our search for happiness is our search for our purpose, and we achieve both by bringing all of our skills and talents, our human equity, to the job,” Wilson said.
Wilson believes business leaders who strive to create something that will leave the world a better place will be more likely to do the things that help their employees engage with their work.
Here are Wilson’s tips for keeping employees engaged:
Use performance evaluations to learn about your employees
Each of your employees has strengths and talents that may be hidden in the workplace. If you take the time to help them identify these and use them at work, you will help them feel that their work has purpose, which will result in a more engaged, productive team.
“People want to bring all their talents to what they’re doing. We’re happiest when we’re doing what we’re good at. In order to know what those skills, talents, and even personality traits are, managers must get to know their individual employees,” Wilson said.
Don’t treat all employees equally
Each employee may behave differently in the workplace, which means they are not all equal. Treating them as such can leave engaged, enthusiastic employees feeling short-changed while disengaged employees feel entitled.
“Acknowledge and reward employees who are going the extra mile and point out the ways they’re contributing that may not be quantifiable or part of their job description. The successful salesman who routinely coaches less successful colleagues is displaying a strength that won’t show up on his sales sheet but is, nonetheless, a valuable contribution to the company,” Wilson said.
Recognise and reward demonstration of strong values
The best employees usually have honesty, integrity, compassion, and work ethic, and while leaders may unconsciously recognise them through such actions as giving an employee trust, it’s important to acknowledge them publicly too.
Wilson said, “Our values are the foundation of our purpose and an expression of our true selves. Employees who are able to demonstrate their values at work and are rewarded for doing so have a greater sense of purpose.”