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7 Ways to Engage Employees (Without Giving a Raise)

A recent article in Forbes discusses seven ways to increase employee satisfaction. However, many of the tips that the article highlights are actually ways to improve a more potent variable: employee engagement.

The following are the seven factors given in the article, and our take on how they address employee engagement:

  1. Consistent Values

Leaders must behave consistently. Fear is one of the largest determining factors for an employee’s ability to do the job (click here to learn about the impact of fear). When employees don’t know which version of their boss will be coming into work on a given day, they become anxious, fearful, and less engaged.

  1. Long Term Focus

Employees who are connected to the long term goals of a company and can see the impact of their work are also more engaged. It is important to create “meaning” by giving employees clarity of purpose and vision. Employees must be included in the planning and execution of their team’s long term objectives. Click here to read more about the importance of meaning for leadership.

  1. Local Leadership

Individual leaders are essential for cultivating a highly engaged, high performance culture. The way in which leaders motivate and communicate can be the difference between an engaged and a disengaged employee.

  1. Continuous Communication

Your communications with employees, particularly feedback conversations, are critical. It’s important to provide feedback when employees are doing well, in addition to when they need correction. If employees do not get enough feedback and recognition, they feel disengaged.

  1. Collaboration

employee engagementMore engaged units, teams, or work groupswithin an organization have a significant effect on profitability and productivity. For example, a global mining company’s most engaged sites had 50% less turnover than their least engaged sites. Click here to read the full story.

  1. Opportunities for Development

Another crucial area is to have conversations with employees about their growth and development. Good leaders must coach employees and allow them the opportunity to grow. When employees are given feedback and opportunities that help them succeed, they can develop their potential.

  1. Speed and Agility

The Forbes article discusses speed and agility in terms of ability to take advantage of marketplace opportunities. We would agree with this, as long as it does not come at the expense of open dialogue with the employees who will be affected by the changes. It is critical to get buy-in to change (even what leaders see as positive change) before implementing.

Read the full article here.

Engagement, Not Satisfaction

The Forbes article makes good points, and provides advice worth following; however, we believe it is essential to make the distinction between engagement and satisfaction.  

Unfortunately, the term “employee satisfaction” is thrown around when people really mean employee engagement. This is an important distinction, because engaged employees are always satisfied but satisfied employees are not always engaged. Ultimately, there is no evidence in the literature to suggest that satisfied employees drive higher levels of productivity – but of course as we know, engaged employees absolutely do.

>> Workplace Engagement Insights can measure your employee engagement and help you develop solutions for improvement. Simply contact us today to get started.

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Written by Dwight Lacey

Dwight Lacey

Dwight is the President at Workplace Engagement Insights. He leads Workplace Engagement Insights with a clear understanding of the latest employee engagement research, survey best practices, and leadership styles that create successful businesses.

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