Your business just turned two years old, and you are holding a party to celebrate. Beginning with just five employees, you now have triple that many.
Tonight, you are asking yourself one question: How can I hire more people like the 10% or so who are working hard to help this company grow, engage the ones who are lukewarm, and get rid of the rest?
Does that sound a little harsh?
The truth is, that for most companies, the bulk of employees would just as soon be working somewhere else.
It sounds incredible, but …
Gallup’s 2013 State of the Global Workplace report, found that 65% of the world’s workers are “not engaged” on the job. They are there only to take home a pay check.
Moreover, said the study, 24% are “actively disengaged.” They do what they can to hurt the company they work for. They are internal termites who would destroy everything you have worked so hard to build.
The bottom line: By getting your employees to either engage or move on, you can make a real difference in bottom line results.
How to tell which employees are engaged and which are not
Think of the best hotel stay you have ever experienced. For me, it was 30 James Street, the home of the Titanic. Not only is the property incredibly interesting and historic, the staff are obviously pleased to be there and to be of service to guests.
You can feel the difference when engaged employees are on duty.
Signs of engagement include:
- Engaged employees come a little early and stay a little late. Disengaged workers straggle in and can’t wait to get back out the door.
- Engaged employees speak will of the company – both to customers and to fellow employees. Disengaged workers badmouth the business and complain at every opportunity.
- Engaged workers want the company to sell more and grow more. They see every customer interaction as a way to help you succeed. Disengaged workers see customer interactions as just another hassle. They would as soon your customers take their business somewhere else.
- Engaged workers recommend other excellent recruits to you. They want to help build staff, so they refer the best people they know. Disengaged employees either don’t recommend anyone at all or send in unqualified prospects just like themselves.
- Engaged employees are eager to help and don’t always need to be in the limelight. Disengaged employees always want to know where the advantage is for them.
How to help raise the employee engagement rate at your company
Companies generally turn to paying higher wages and offering better benefits – thinking that is the way to attract and keep the best workers.
Research studies show that wages and benefits are important, but there are other factors equally as critical to engagement – and most of them don’t require extra money. Rather, they require extra care.
- Everyone wants and needs to be heard. Invite feedback from your employees … and really listen to them when they provide it. Shoot for a bottom up leadership style at your company. Management is there to help the workers with the tools and information they need. Management is not there to drive or cajole them.
- Show employees you care. Give credit where credit is due, and know about their lives. Include their families in company functions. Praise them in front of their families. Let them know you care about them off the job as well as on the job. Get a company baseball or bowling team going. Put their smiling faces on the side of a city bus and show the entire city you care about your people. The more you build fellowship and comradery into the mix, the better work will your teams produce.
- Offer plenty of advancement opportunity, but don’t force it. Allow your people the ability to grow into positions of greater responsibility. Give them the training they need, but don’t push them into jobs they aren’t ready for. Just knowing there are options can keep an engaged worker on your payroll instead of someone else’s.
Employee engagement: Treat others the way you would want to be treated. That’s really all there is to it. Be the kind of job people want to keep … and they will.