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Creating a Culture of Engaged Employees

You have probably heard about employee engagement; but what does it mean and why is it important?

It is important because engaged employees are:

  • Emotionally committed – They care about your company as much as you do. They will not leave you at the first sign of trouble and they will support you when things are tough.
  • Self-motivated – They don’t need day-to-day direction. This leaves leaders more time to focus on development which nurtures motivation.
  • Optimistic – They create a workplace full of positivity. Optimism is contagious and they will pass their positivity to the entire workforce.
  • More productive – Passion breeds productivity. Engaged employees have a sense of ownership in everything they do and because of this they will contribute to the company at exponentially higher levels.

Employee engagement is not an all or nothing pursuit. At one end of the spectrum is the actively engaged employee. These employees deliver on all levels. They are your superstars. At the other end of the spectrum is the disengaged employee. These employees are not only non-productive, they are dangerous. They are usually not content suffering in silence. They want to share their discontent with the rest of the workforce.

Employees are engaged at different levels throughout this spectrum over the course of their employment life cycle. It is important to remember that this is basic human nature. A significant emotional event, no matter if personal or professional, can seep into everyday work life and effect an employee’s engagement.  Leaders must recognize this and be careful not to give up on a good employee in a bad place.

Now that you know the benefits and concerns that can be attributed to an engaged and disengaged workforce, here are 4 simple principles to supporting a culture of employee engagement:

  1. Determine where you are now – You can do this in many ways. Utilize employee surveys that assess your employees’ attitudes about their engagement. Interview your employees to determine how they feel about their work. Evaluate your performance metrics to determine if your employees are performing at top levels.
  2. Make sure your company culture is centered on employee engagement – Take a look at your mission, vision, and core values to make sure you can create a battle cry that encourages employee engagement. Create goals that support the mission and ignite employee passion.
  3. Support work life integration – Technology makes it possible for employees to work anywhere. Encourage that and allow your employees to work in ways that are most productive for them. For your hourly employees, allow them some flexibility in scheduling such as the ability to make up time missed for a doctor appointment.
  4. Develop your employees – A nurtured employee is an engaged employee! Time is a person’s most valuable resource. When leaders invest time in their employees, those employees feel valued, motivated, optimistic, and passionate. They will give their time back to their leaders in exponential returns.

The path to developing engaged employees really isn’t that difficult. However, maintaining and enhancing a culture that consistently encourages employee engagement is not so easy. It takes time, attention to detail and commitment from every leader.

SERPEO can help small businesses create world class cultures. A partnership with SERPEO allows our clients to focus on day to day operations and company culture. We take care of the cumbersome burdens of the human resource functions while providing advice, structures, and support for higher level initiatives such as employee engagement.

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