All companies, especially small and medium sized enterprises, rely on their staff to be productive and add value. The core concept that underlines productivity is employee engagement, and if your firm doesn’t have a proactive plan for engaging with your workforce, you are behind the curve.
Employee engagement is the mental attitude staff take towards their job and employer. An engaged employee is invested and is motivated to perform highly.
A new study by Deloitte has revealed that there is a fundamental shift in the dynamic between employer and employee, with new models focussing on staffing needs as a means to enhance engagement, leading to increased productivity.
A Gallup 2014 Poll Stated that only 13 percent of employees surveyed are “highly engaged,” and 26 percent are “actively disengaged.” Remember that the 13 % of engaged employees are the ones who add value, and your small firm must increase this percentage as much as possible.
One of the key elements to engaging on a personal (non-professional) level, is earning people’s trust by including them in your plans and sharing your thoughts and vision. This applies exactly the same to the corporate sphere. Informing your staff of short, medium and long term company goals and strategy is a way to gain employee’s trust, making them feel included in the future of the company. It allows staff to understand how they fit in the wider company context, which is psychologically very important.
Opportunities for Growth
Whilst some people are happy performing their current job, many employees will be looking to advance their careers. If a firm is looking to retain its brightest and best, it must provide pathways to progression, making it clear that there are options open to them. For a small firm with no clear corporate structure, it is crucial to identify your best talent and find ways for them to spearhead new areas of growth.
Companies are increasingly using technology to allow flexible working conditions like remote working and flexible schedules. Cloud computing and bring your own device make this easy and affordable, so there is no excuse for not taking advantage. A happy employee who is able to manage their other commitments is more likely to be a productive employee.
Give Staff Decision Making Power
Many people, especially your most ambitious and talented, crave empowerment. The people who will really make a difference will never be content with simply following orders. Give employees the power to make decisions and to assume responsibility. Instead of telling staff how to do something, tell them what to do, and let them find their own way of implementing it. You may be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
Authoritarian methods of management disengage staff. Turn managers into coaches and mentors who nurture and support, rather than simply demanding results. Managers must become personally invested in developing staff and understand the value of praise and performance recognition.
Define your Mission
Create a vision for your firm or department. Aside from making money, what does your company do and why does it exist? Make it clear that your company has a defined goal and that all operations or processes, no matter how small contribute to this goal. This gives even the most mundane task a purpose and value.