As summer days wind down and with most vacations finished for the year, it is common for employees’ drive-to-thrive to dwindle. Here are three ways to keep employees excited and engaged at work all year long.
Activate their potential. The main reason most people stay at their job is because they enjoy the work and opportunities to grow their skills. In fact, 24% said having “more opportunities to do what I do best” is key to their job satisfaction, according to a Blessing White report. Stellar managers invest time to learn employees’ personalities and understand what they enjoy most about their roles. This enables top leaders to provide opportunities that fully utilize employees’ skills so that they maintain motivation and strong morale.
One of Dale Carnegie’s Human Relations principles is to, ‘Throw down a challenge.’ Strong managers activate their team’s potential by giving them opportunities to grow—whether by taking on new responsibilities or managing a project larger than anything they have been responsible for in the past. Additionally, many organizations give employees “white space” or free time in which they can work on any task they choose. For example, LinkedIn cancels all meetings a few days per month so that employees can attend a presentation on a subject in which they are interested or focus on a task that they are passionate about.
Boost performance with goal setting. One of Dale Carnegie’s Human Relations principles is to, ‘Arouse in the person an eager want.’ A sure fire way to maximize employee engagement over the long-term is by working with employees to set short, long-term and stretch goals. Common semi-annual and/or annual reviews are simply too infrequent to keep employees’ eyes on the prize. In fact, performance management is the number two driver of employee engagement (after career opportunities), and studies show that people who set motivational goals are up to 75% more fulfilled in their jobs than those who simply set routine goals, e.g. a daily to-do list.
Another benefit of goal-setting and measuring is that they cultivate ownership and accountability. Employees who are responsible for, and committed to, meeting specifically set metrics will naturally be more engaged than employees who are not. It is also important to celebrate wins—both big and small, to further motivate employees and therefore maximize their contributions to the organization.
Coach for career development. Engaged employees are always looking for learning and development opportunities that will support them in their long-term professional goals. Moreover, providing opportunities for advancement is one of the top three factors in attracting new employees, and the number one driver of employee engagement in North America1. Many companies are hesitant to invest in career and succession planning because they fear employees may take their new skills elsewhere, however this mindset jeopardizes the long-term potential of top performing employees within the organization.
To begin engaging and exciting employees, choose the initiative that will have the greatest impact on your organization. Then be sure to measure and celebrate success!
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