One of the biggest buzzwords around in the workplace at the moment is Employee Engagement.
Want to learn how to drive your employee engagement through the roof?
Then you’re in the right place.
Because today we’re going to show you the exact Employee Engagement techniques we’ve used to retain the very best talent in our teams.
The best part?
All of these proven strategies are working GREAT in 2019.
Let’s do this!
Many people are writing big articles about this, with lots of different definitions of what employee engagement actually is, how to tell if an employee is engaged, some even cover the different degrees of engagement!
A lot of them are very good articles about the benefits of employee engagement, but I rarely see anything that tells you how to improve employee engagement at a really basic level.
What do you say to them?
And how do you know if it’s effective?
Effective employee engagement give some big payoffs and not just for you as a leader or manager. It also benefits the team and your customers as well:
You hear “employee engagement” used all the time in every type of working environment.
Some companies are very good at it, others not so much.
The legendary former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, once said:
It’s not by chance that employee engagement was the first of the three things he referred to, as this is undoubtedly the most important, and it’s where our process for really effective communication begins.
In 1977 renowned psychologist Ellen Langer conducted a simple experiment to test effective engagement.
She set up the experiment in a busy library and had her researchers watching the queue for the photo-copying machine.
When a queue was seen at the photocopier, the researcher would approach them and ask one of three the following questions with the intention of “pushing in the queue”.
1. “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine?
2. “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush.
3. Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I have to make copies.”
When asked the first question, with no reason for pushing in attached at all, 60% of those asked said yes.
When asked the second question, with a legitimate reason attached, the percentage of those who said yes jumped up to 94%!
Even more interestingly, when asked the third question, with a really lame reason attached, the percentage of those who said yes was 93%!
The experiment taught us that giving a reason why you want someone to do something can increase your chances of them doing it by nearly 35%.
Even when the reason given was a poor one, your chances of success are still much higher than if you gave no reason at all.
Robert Caldini, world class professor of psychology and expert on human behaviour says;
Why Employee Engagement Matters
The key to teaching managers effective engagement at its most basic level is to use the word “because”.
If you want to teach someone how to effectively engage their team to complete a task, this is where you should start.
Let’s say you’re a manager working in a service led environment and have recently promoted one of your casual workers to a supervisory position.
They have zero experience of managing people, but they do have unlimited potential and an insatiable appetite to learn and progress.
How would you teach them to engage employees so they do what you want, when you want them to, and to the standard you ask for?
Start by reacquainting them with the word “because”.
Using the word “because” forces you to give a reason why and as we have already seen this will increase your chances of success by 35%.
Employee Engagement Comparisons
“Can you sweep the floor please”
“Can you sweep the floor please because we will be opening soon and want the store to be tidy for our customers.”
“Make sure this is done exactly in this way”
“Make sure this is done in exactly this way because if not it really slows down our service and our customers will have to queue.”
Employee Engagement Examples
However, be careful not to fall into the trap of saying “because this is what I want you to do”.
This is weak (it relies on people having fear of your authority) and is often not sincere or even true.
Always try to use goals you have in common or company goals when giving a reason why.
A Few Employee Engagement Examples
“Can you sweep the floor please, it’s important it gets done well because we don’t want the customers to have a bad impression of our business”
“Can you tidy that area please, it’s important it gets done to a high standard because it improves our sales when customers can easily find what they are looking for”
“Can you ensure this is done exactly like this please, it’s important because if it isn’t done like this it really slows down our service and our customers have to queue”
How to Engage Employees
Be mindful of the difference between positive and negative engagement when teaching this.
It is very easy to say something like:
“You must do this because I am telling you to”
“You have to do this because if you don’t I will discipline you”.
This type of negative engagement can be effective but relies completely on the power of your authority.
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should!
Leaders who are skilled in the art of good engagement will steer clear of using this form of negative engagement because they know that the mind seeks pleasure and avoids pain.
There is a much higher percentage of negative emotions vs positive emotions, unskilled managers use these emotions as they feel them:
This unequal split is the reason why people often try to engage others this way.
A skilled manager will have both the personal and social awareness to purposely and intentionally strive to use positive engagement wherever possible.
In the long run positive engagement will always be more effective.
Engaged employees are those who feel a positive connection to their work and a sense of identity with their company values.
This is something every aspiring supervisor or manager needs to know, along with this basic understanding of why employee engagement works and a hunger for new employee engagement ideas.
Get this right, and you are well on your way to achieving success in your new role.
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