Have you ever walked in a business and felt a palpable energy? People are smiling and doing their work seemingly without effort? Likewise, we’ve all stepped into an office, store or other place of business and immediately felt the lethargy, the bad morale and the omnipresent wish to be anyplace else. Which scenario best describes your workplace? And how to do you turn the latter into the former?
According to a study conducted by the American Society for Training and Development and sponsored by Dale Carnegie Training, employee engagement begins with the organization’s leaders, including immediate supervisors. Interestingly, only 29 percent of respondents said that their leaders currently work to improve employee engagement to a high or very high extent, but almost 80 percent said their organizations should do so. And just 23 percent of respondents said their organizations train managers in how to engage employees to a high or very high extent. What this shows is that leaders and managers require considerably better engagement-building skills.
Providing learning opportunities for employees also results in higher levels of engagement. In fact, highly engaged organizations more often use practices such as peer coaching, stretch assignments and teambuilding to boost employee morale and performance. Also, firms with highly engaged workforces placed the greatest emphasis on a passion for work and a positive attitude toward peers and customers, rather than individual skills.
If you would like to see more employee engagement in your workplace, here are a few top practices to follow:
- Help supervisors build their engagement and retention skills.
- Acquaint managers with the skills workers need to perform well.
- Link learning and performance management.
- Make learning an engaging process via new technologies and techniques.
- Invest in the “onboarding” process when employees start their job to make them feel welcome in their new surroundings and minimize the time before new employees are productive members of their new workgroup.
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