Getting employees to feel connected to, and enthusiastic about, their job is vital to the productivity of any organization. The most important thing you can do as a member of management is walk the talk. How you behave says more about the truth of the company than what you say.
Engagement should begin at the interview process. Emphasizing how the company conducts business and why it matters helps interviewees understand what they are getting into if they are offered a position, or allow them to decide if the company’s culture is not a good fit. When joining a company, employees should arrive with expectations that match the company’s and engage in its culture immediately.
No matter what a manager says during the recruitment process, the interviewee will notice if there are non-verbal cues that don’t match up. For example, if the culture is informal and collaborative, make sure the recruitment process reflects that. Does your recruitment strategy reflect the kind of person the organization wants to attract?
If you are recruiting for an office position, make sure an office tour is part of the interview process. This gives applicants the opportunity to experience the environment and the way in which workers interact with each other. Additionally, create opportunities for candidates to speak with employees as well as managers so they can see for themselves your company is a great place to work.
Make sure you welcome them! Think about what happens when you meet new people. The experience of being introduced into a tight-knit group can be alienating. The close bond and inside jokes can make you feel excluded.
The same can happen within your organization. The more engaging your workplace is, the more satisfying it will be for all employees. New employees are more likely to feel left out, so be sure you help them settle in, join social outings and help them learn the culture as well as the practicalities of your company.
Make sure you personalize things and make connections. Go to lunch. Find out what matters to the employee and use that information to tailor how you manage and reward your employee.
Engagement can shift with work-load, season and time of day, so don’t assume the way you managed and rewarded an employee when they start will work a year or two later. Stay engaged with the process, and constantly looking for ways to update your approach.
Engaging employees can be a time consuming. As a manager, you will need to find the right balance. What you will get back will be productive positive employee who sticks with you.
Also, an engaged employee is the most successful tool to retention and recruitment. Employees who are fully engaged in your business are likely to work harder and to act as ambassadors for you. This will become vital as the economy picks up.
Debbie Strahle, Partnership Manager