It's super easy to engage your workforce, and it can be a work uphill if you don't know the right button to press. Engaging your workforce is very vital.
Company leaders can have very diverse ideas of what amounts to success. Some focus on maximizing profits or advancing technology over building a great culture. Others are more mission-focused, working to solve societal problems.
However, no matter what they’re striving toward, most agree that success begins and ends with a highly engaged workforce. So, why, then, are so few employees involved?
It doesn't matter if you have tried and failed in this aspect. But the fact that you had try and fail does not mean you should give up on finding ways to engage your workforce.
Here are seven ways to effectively engage your workforce and see positive returns on the investments you make in your company’s greatest resource and asset: its people.
1. Show Appreciation, And Encouragement.
Charles Schwab said: ‘I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people, the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.’
Positive reinforcement makes people feel noticed and valued, compelling them to repeat what they do well. But leaders usually do a better job of telling employees what they do wrong.
Most business leaders bawl out their subordinates if they don’t like a thing they do, and if they want it, they say nothing. As the old couplet says: ‘Once I did bad and that I heard ever, Twice I did good, but that I heard never.’
More than 70 percent of employees have never even heard their bosses say, “thank you.” Modeling desired behavior can be as easy as minding your manners.
Sincere appreciation gets into the heart of people. If you genuinely desire to engage your workforce, start showing them sincere appreciation from this very moment.
2. Never Criticize
There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors. Never criticize anyone. Be anxious to praise but loath to find fault.
If you like anything, ‘be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.’
Charles Schwab declared – ‘In my wide association in life, meeting with many and great people in various parts of the world, I have yet to find the person, however great or exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than he would ever do under a spirit of criticism.’
We nourish the bodies of our children and friends and employees, but how seldom do we nurture their self-esteem? We provide them with the best foods to build energy, but we neglect to give them kind words of appreciation that would sing in their memories for years like the music of the morning stars.
Try leaving a friendly trail of little sparks of gratitude on your daily interaction with your workforce. You will be surprised how they will set small flames of enthusiasm that will be rose beacons for a long time. This is a surefire way to engage your workforce
3. Engage Your Workforce By Giving Everyone A Trophy.
Recognize a broad range of efforts and activities to avoid breeding resentment among employees contributing smaller amounts. Not everyone should receive the same recognition, but each employee should receive some.
A recent survey found that 40 percent of employees would put forth more effort if they felt recognized by their bosses – but 82 percent said they didn't. Acknowledgment isn’t about offering carrots; it’s about bringing out the best in people.
4. Create Culture Metrics And Share Them.
One study found that 64 percent of employees surveyed didn't feel that they had a strong work culture. That might be because engagement isn’t being measured correctly, to begin with. Ninety-eight percent of CEOs surveyed said they look at annual employee engagement surveys only once a year, and many acknowledged not even discussing them with their employees.
Becoming more transparent can be tricky for some organizations, but digging into this data with your team is a great way to reinforce the importance of culture.
5. Broaden The Conversation.
In our hyperconnected world, people expect to have a say in the things that affect their lives, and their work lives are no different. Example: Foodpanda in Singapore pushed its average delivery time down to 30 minutes by zeroing in on its employees’ mental and physical well-being and offering rewards for their hard work.
So, don’t give up decision-making; just include more people in the process to broaden buy-in. The impact can be astounding. Next time you are thinking of ways to engage your workforce, always remember this.
6. Promote Informal Communication To Strengthen Social Connections.
When people feel connected socially, they’re not only more likely to stay at your company; they’re also more productive, collaborative, and open to new ideas.
More than just distributing information, this tactic is about encouraging interaction and discussion so that employees feel a strong connection to your company and one another.
7. Stimulate Competition
One of the easiest ways to get things done is to stimulate competition. I do not mean in a disgusting money-getting way but in the desire to do exceptionally well.
The desire to excel! The challenge! Throwing down the gauntlet! A surefire way of pleasing to people of spirit.
Let take a look at an excerpt from Dale Carnegie classic – ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People”.
Here Is The Excerpt
‘Charles Schwab had a mill manager whose people weren’t producing their quota of work.
‘How is it,’ Schwab asked him, ‘that a manager as capable as you can’t make this mill turn out what it should?’
‘I don’t know,’ the manager replied. ‘I’ve coaxed the men; I’ve pushed them, I’ve sworn and cussed, I’ve threatened them with damnation and being fired. But nothing works. They just won’t produce.’
This conversation took place at the end of the day, just before the night shift came on. Schwab asked the manager for a piece of chalk, then turning to the nearest man, asked: ‘How many heats did your shift make today?’
Without another word, Schwab chalked a big figure ‘6’ on the floor and walked away.
When the night shift came in, they saw the ‘6’ and asked what it meant.
‘The big boss was in here today,’ the day people said. ‘He asked us how many heats we made, and we told him six, He chalked it on the floor.’
The next morning Schwab walked through the mill again. The night shift had rubbed out ‘6’ and replaced it with a big ‘7’.
When the day shift reported for work the next morning, they saw a big ‘7’ chalked on the floor. So the night shift thought they were better than the day shift, did they? Well, they would show the night shift a thing or two. The crew pitched in with enthusiasm, and when they quit that night, they left behind them an enormous, swaggering ’10.’ Things were stepping up.
Shortly this mill, which had been lagging way behind in production, was turning out more works than any other mill in the plant.
When other methods are not working, try, and stimulate competition.
Wrap it up
In the end, it’s not an either/or. All forms of organizations, no matter their mission, have to deal with financial realities. As Mark Wrighton, chancellor at Washington University in St. Louis, said, “We are a not-for-profit, but that does not mean we are for a loss either.”
In sum, profit and loss isn’t just an item on a spreadsheet. And the sustainable growth of your company doesn’t rely on sales and accounting teams alone. To grow a business positively and organically, tend to the soil, not just specific plants.