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Engagement: the Tie that Binds Us

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You hear the words “employee engagement” a lot these days. And for good reason. Employee loyalty is at an all-time low. Employers are worried about being able to hire—and retain—the talent they need. Wellness programs are on the rise to help manage healthcare costs, but they require active participation and—employee engagement.

A Monsterthinking blog on this topic provides some solid advice for managers who are working to engage their staff.

Lead to Engage

Study after study has shown that managers are a preferred, and in many cases the most preferred, source of information for employees. This gives managers an excellent opportunity to engage their reports through communication strategies designed to engage. Here are some suggestions:

  • Encourage employees to speak up: Provide opportunities for employees to share their opinions, contribute toward solutions and be creative. Provide frequent updates on the business and ask for questions. When managers actively listen to employees and create a dialog, misunderstandings decrease and employees feel more motivated and interested in doing their best work.

  • Demonstrate honesty and accountability: To sustain credibility with employees, managers should hold themselves accountable for their decisions and avoid making promises that they may not be able to keep. When a problem arises, be straight forward about the issue and how you will address it.
  • Leverage performance reviews: This is a “built-in” opportunity to talk with an employee and gauge his or her engagement level. Discuss areas of interest on the job, what they feel particularly proud of and areas for growth. This can help managers understand what motivates employees and create a more engaged organization as a whole.
  • Convey the mission and strategy: When employees understand an organization’s values and business strategy—how it impacts them personally and how they do their job—they will be more actively engaged.

The link between communication and engagement is strong. Managers who leverage their position as a preferred information source will build a stronger bond between their staff and the organization—thus creating a higher degree of engagement and business success.