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How To Engage When You Lost Workforce Enthusiasm

What does it mean to be part of an engaged workforce? Not all leadership teams can identify the hallmarks of engaged employees. However, it becomes apparent very quickly when an employee is not engaged. Burnout, apathy, and disengagement call all creep up pretty easily in a work environment that doesn’t reward, inspire or meet the needs of its talent. Let’s take a look at what an engaged workforce in action looks like:

  • Eagerness to take on new challenges.
  • Collaboration between employees.
  • Bring issues to management.
  • Trust between leadership and employees.
  • Concentration and focus on tasks.
  • A sense that people love what they do.

The interesting thing about a highly engaged workforce is that higher engagement leads to higher rates of satisfaction. One big mistake is to assume that engagement will only come once you somehow create happier employees. Indeed, external rewards can certainly help to make employees feel happier in their roles. However, people who don’t feel heard, seen or valued are very difficult to motivate. Fostering engagement is crucial for building long-term satisfaction that builds on itself. What’s more, engaged employees will be more likely to voice their concerns when factors are detracting from workplace satisfaction. This fact alone can help an organization to avoid a downward spiral in morale, productivity, and reputation.

Why Do Employees Need To Be Satisfied?

Satisfied employees contribute to increased productivity and profitability. We can also follow the arrow to its conclusion to see that engaged employees ultimately lead to happier customers. It is a closed-loop relationship between how employees feel about their work and how the customer perceives the product or service they are buying. Let’s talk about the dark side of engagement. A disengaged workforce can sabotage a company. What’s more, an attitude of dissatisfaction can be an insidious thing that spreads through an organization quickly to rob you of your best talent. Here are some signs that something is rotten within an organization when it comes to engagement:

  • A lack of pride in the company or product among employees.
  • Distractions and lack of focus.
  • Low-quality work.
  • Reliance on excuses for poor work quality
  • A sense that management should be avoided
  • High turnover rate and persistent culture of “abandoning the ship” among talent.
  • A general acceptance that doing the bare minimum is okay.
  • An underlying belief that gossip and complaining are favored over genuine problem-solving.

An organization simply isn’t going to be around for very long when the rot of low engagement has seeped into its roots. What’s more, it is only a matter of time before the dark storm cloud of a company culture that’s being cultivated rains down over customers and clients with every interaction. The good news is that employees seek and crave engagement. However, many assume that they either don’t deserve it or can never ask for it. Let’s take a look at the tactics leaders can use to promote engagement at every level.

It’s important to remember that you aren’t just paying for bodies to sit in chairs all day. Failing to cultivate a culture of engagement can leave leaders in the position of policing workers all day long instead of shepherding a dynamic motivated strategic workforce. Let’s talk about how to get there.

How Company Leadership Can Build Engagement

Accept the fact that attempts to drum up engagement may be met with resistance at first. It’s only natural for employees to be skeptical when new programs and policies are being rolled out to increase engagement. The general impression among employees may be that you’re trying to get something out of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Appreciation First

We can’t talk about building up engagement until you’ve let your employees know that their work is appreciated. Acknowledging wins and successes is crucial. Of course, following up with actual rewards shows that leaders know the true value of the effort that is being put toward achieving goals.

Reward Work Appropriately & Competitively

Raises, bonuses, and promotions can help employees feel like they have a future at an organization. It takes money to retain top talent. However, it’s important to remember that an engaged group will repay you many times over through better results such as customer success, greater productivity, lower turnover, and establishing a passionate culture that enjoys being a part of your organization. Being there only for a paycheck is not the cycle one wants.

Don’t Keep Secrets Unnecessarily

An atmosphere of secrecy trickling down from leadership can kill engagement faster than just about anything else. Try to keep employees in the loop as much as is reasonably possible. It can be extremely encouraging to inform workers of changes within the company during the process instead of after the fact. What’s more, asking for company-wide input regarding changes can help employees to feel like they have some decision-making power. That feeling of control is so important because nothing causes a worker to disengage faster than feeling like they are voiceless and powerless.

Offer Better Balance

Many of the most innovative companies out there today are trying out flexible and balanced-based approaches to building the workweek of the future. Do you need help breaking free from a cycle of staleness? Opening up the option to work remotely part of the time or introducing an unlimited vacation policy could renew motivation within a workforce. Of course, those options may not be possible for organizations that don’t deal solely with “white-collar” positions. Something that requires less of a sea change could also help at organizations that require workers to be physically present or actively producing tangible results in something like a manufacturing setting. Healthy lunch deliveries, free gym memberships and some bonus vacation days could help to undo some of the staleness that has crept in.

Link Individual Objectives to Company Goals

Show your employees that they aren’t just goldfish bumping into the sides of a glass bowl. It is so important to be able to align employee goals with the overall goal of an organization. What’s more, leaders should be actively helping employees reach their path towards reaching their max potential and career development.

Foster Development and Growth

Employees are not going to believe management when they say that an organization cares about their employees and being transparent if their actions say something else. Companies need to invest in development and training that can help workers to become better at their jobs. Of course, the benefit of training within an organization is that you are producing trained and qualified workers without the need to source talent from outside the company.

Don’t Allow Low Engagement to Be a Problem

Can you identify any areas that are creating division, confusion, discouragement or lack of trust within your organization? You’ve just identified where your company is being sabotaged from within by low engagement. Fostering an environment of openness, clarity of goals and acknowledgment of good work is the formula for creating employees who want to engage.

How To Engage When You Lost Workforce Enthusiasm

What does it mean to be part of an engaged workforce? Not all leadership teams can identify the hallmarks of engaged employees. However, it becomes apparent very quickly when an employee is not engaged. Burnout, apathy, and disengagement call all creep up pretty easily in a work environment that doesn’t reward, inspire or meet the needs of its talent. Let’s take a look at what an engaged workforce in action looks like:

  • Eagerness to take on new challenges.
  • Collaboration between employees.
  • A willingness to bring issues to management to seek productive, positive outcomes.
  • Trust between leadership and employees.
  • Concentration and focus on tasks.
  • A willingness to own up to mistakes.
  • A general sense that people love what they do.

The interesting thing about a highly engaged workforce is that higher engagement leads to higher rates of satisfaction. One big mistake is to assume that engagement will only come once you somehow create happier employees. Indeed, external rewards can certainly help to make employees feel happier in their roles. However, people who don’t feel heard, seen or valued are very difficult to motivate. Fostering engagement is crucial for building long-term satisfaction that builds on itself. What’s more, engaged employees will be more likely to voice their concerns when factors are detracting from workplace satisfaction. This fact alone can help an organization to avoid a downward spiral in morale, productivity, and reputation.

Why Do Employees Need To Be Satisfied?

Satisfied employees contribute to increased productivity and profitability. We can also follow the arrow to its conclusion to see that engaged employees ultimately lead to happier customers. It is a closed-loop relationship between how employees feel about their work and how the customer perceives the product or service they are buying. Let’s talk about the dark side of engagement. A disengaged workforce can sabotage a company. What’s more, an attitude of dissatisfaction can be an insidious thing that spreads through an organization quickly to rob you of your best talent. Here are some signs that something is rotten within an organization when it comes to engagement:

  • High turnover rate and persistent culture of “abandoning the ship” among talent.
  • A general acceptance that doing the bare minimum is okay.
  • A sense that management should be avoided.
  • An underlying belief that gossip and complaining are favored over genuine problem-solving.
  • A lack of pride in the company or product among employees.
  • Distractions and lack of focus.
  • Low-quality work.
  • Reliance on excuses for poor work quality.

An organization simply isn’t going to be around for very long when the rot of low engagement has seeped into its roots. What’s more, it is only a matter of time before the dark storm cloud of a company culture that’s being cultivated rains down over customers and clients with every interaction. The good news is that employees seek and crave engagement. However, many assume that they either don’t deserve it or can never ask for it. Let’s take a look at the tactics leaders can use to promote engagement at every level.

It’s important to remember that you aren’t just paying for bodies to sit in chairs all day. Failing to cultivate a culture of engagement can leave leaders in the position of policing workers all day long instead of shepherding a dynamic motivated strategic workforce. Let’s talk about how to get there.

How Company Leadership Can Build Engagement

Accept the fact that attempts to drum up engagement may be met with resistance at first. It’s only natural for employees to be skeptical when new programs and policies are being rolled out to increase engagement. The general impression among employees may be that you’re trying to get something out of them.

 

 

 

 

Show Appreciation First

We can’t talk about building up engagement until you’ve let your employees know that their work is appreciated. Acknowledging wins and successes is crucial. Of course, following up with actual rewards shows that leaders know the true value of the effort that is being put toward achieving goals.

Reward Work Appropriately and Competitively

Raises, bonuses, and promotions can help employees feel like they have a future at an organization. It takes money to retain top talent. However, it’s important to remember that an engaged group will repay you many times over through better results such as customer success, greater productivity, lower turnover, and establishing a passionate culture that enjoys being a part of your organization. Being there only for a paycheck is not the cycle one wants.

Don’t Keep Secrets Unnecessarily

An atmosphere of secrecy trickling down from leadership can kill engagement faster than just about anything else. Try to keep employees in the loop as much as is reasonably possible. It can be extremely encouraging to inform workers of changes within the company during the process instead of after the fact. What’s more, asking for company-wide input regarding changes can help employees to feel like they have some decision-making power. That feeling of control is so important because nothing causes a worker to disengage faster than feeling like they are voiceless and powerless.

Offer Better Balance

Many of the most innovative companies out there today are trying out flexible and balanced-based approaches to building the workweek of the future. Do you need help breaking free from a cycle of staleness? Opening up the option to work remotely part of the time or introducing an unlimited vacation policy could renew motivation within a workforce. Of course, those options may not be possible for organizations that don’t deal solely with “white-collar” positions. Something that requires less of a sea change could also help at organizations that require workers to be physically present or actively producing tangible results in something like a manufacturing setting. Healthy lunch deliveries, free gym memberships and some bonus vacation days could help to undo some of the staleness that has crept in.

Link Individual Objectives to Company Goals

Show your employees that they aren’t just goldfish bumping into the sides of a glass bowl. It is so important to be able to align employee goals with the overall goal of an organization. What’s more, leaders should be actively helping employees reach their path towards reaching their max potential and career development.

Foster Development and Growth

Employees are not going to believe management when they say that an organization cares about their employees and being transparent if their actions say something else. Companies need to invest in development and training that can help workers to become better at their jobs. Of course, the benefit of training within an organization is that you are producing trained and qualified workers without the need to source talent from outside the company.

Don’t Allow Low Engagement to Be a Problem

Can you identify any areas that are creating division, confusion, discouragement or lack of trust within your organization? You’ve just identified where your company is being sabotaged from within by low engagement. Fostering an environment of openness, clarity of goals and acknowledgment of good work is the formula for creating employees who want to engage.

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