Employee engagement has been a common theme in our posts recently, and it’s little wonder why. One of the biggest challenges HR faces is retaining top talent, and engagement plays right into that. Maintaining a workforce that feels fulfilled and appreciated is just good business.
And much of the power for keeping engagement up lies in the hands of direct supervisors. This line of management is able to delegate tasks, observe day-to-day operations firsthand, conveniently seek out feedback about staff concerns and implement meaningful changes that can have a direct and immediate impact on employee experience.
Business magazine BRW offers four tips to improve employee engagement:
- HR, make room for direct supervisors. Engaged employees like – or at least trust – their managers. Data from Netsurvey reveals that 87 percent of employees with high levels of engagement also gave their supervisors high marks. Solutions handed down from on high can be less relevant and applicable than those developed by managers who know their teams and what will energize and motivate them.
- Open up the lines of communication. Particularly for managers less adept at engaging staff, training on holding constructive and candid conversations is critical. Management at all levels should be capable of dialoging about issues as sensitive as requests for raises and concerns over job security, as well as making the right decisions quickly.
- Take the team’s pulse frequently. Rather than conducting a lengthy employee satisfaction survey annually (if that often), provide regular opportunities for direct reports to offer suggestions for improvement to the customer experience. Those staff with the most customer contact are most attuned to the customers’ complaints.
- Do something about what you hear. You can’t put every suggestion into practice, but when you hear the same issue crop up again and again, there’s probably something there. When you implement a solution offered up by your team, or simply correct an issue that they brought to your attention, communicate that. Being part of an improvement is incredibly rewarding.