Improving employee engagement doesn’t have to be about big sweeping programs. It improves mostly because of all the little gestures Senior Managers do. Here are 4 things you can do TODAY that will improve your culture, and get your employees more aligned and engaged.
1. Get out of your office/cubicle and walk around. Say “hello” to people and ask how their week is going. If you haven’t done in the past, people may look at you with some suspicion. But if you keep it up, you will build trust and rapport with your team.
Why is this important? The more casual interactions you have, the more you will learn about your team, both as people and as employees. You will better understand what motivates them, and what doesn’t. They will begin to share their frustrations and issues with you, instead of holding it in and getting frustrated.
2. Send someone a celebratory email. Find something someone has done well, and surprise them by recognizing it. The key is authenticity. What you are recognizing needs to be worthy, and your praise should show the right level of excitement at what they accomplished. Try to do one email a day.
The worst thing you can do is add the dreaded “but” to your congratulations. “Great sale yesterday, but I think you might have left some money on the table. Next time, remember to add on a warranty sale!”
3. Ask for advice from the team. As you are problem-solving, it’s easy to sit in your office, brainstorming all by yourself about the solutions. The next thing you know, your genius has come up with answers, and you can’t wait to let your team know how smart you are! And you wonder why they look at you and roll their eyes.
This ties into suggestion #1, because you have to get out of your office, and start asking questions. There are three things you are trying to find out- what is the real problem? Do we know root cause? What are their ideas for solutions?
4. Cancel an unnecessary meeting. Want to be an instant hero? Cancel a meeting outright, or let people who are not critical to the meeting leave. Call it the “gift of time”, and let them have an hour or more back on their day.
The next step is to look at meetings you control, and honestly evaluate if they are necessary, could you hold them less frequently, and who really needs to attend. Oh, and as you are doing this evaluation, go back to suggestion #3- ask advice from the team.
Employee engagement can seem like a huge mountain to climb, but in reality, it improves with every step you take. Open and authentic communication will bring life to your “open door policy”, and the more consistent you are, the more trust your team will have in you.
I would love to hear other quick tips that managers have used to improve employee engagement and alignment. Please share this article and add your ideas!