As a CEO, entrepreneur and business advisor I understand how critical employee engagement is to developing and sustaining a great culture. Great culture is a huge competitive advantage with benefits flowing from low turnover, higher productivity and levels of innovation.
Engagement is not complex. People engagement stems from the most basic elements of human needs and behaviour. I think businesses should start with the basics and measure the results.
These are 8 actions you can take without spending money to improve your people engagement.
8 Actions You Can Do Now to Boost Engagement in Your Business
- Write accurate position descriptions for every role in your business. People need to know the parameters of their work and the expectations for the position they hold.
- Implement a three phase performance review process. I usually start at a three phase process but ideally it is more frequent. The first phase is goal setting. The second phase is a progress review and course correction as needed. The third session is a performance review that is used to plan development, succession, remuneration etc.
- Cascade your strategy by scheduling weekly team meetings between managers and their teams. The purpose of these meetings is to track tasks and activity aligned with the strategic goals of the business. We use a set agenda for these meetings and they are of enormous value in keeping a business on track to achieve its strategy.
- The business owner or CEO must be visible to the people in the business. This means the CEO is accessible informally as well as formally. You can learn a great deal about a company culture by the body language of employees when the CEO is nearby.
- The business owner or CEO must use a channel of communication that keeps all people up to date with what is going on in the business and in the market they operate in. Some of my clients use newsletters or simple emails. I prefer a video that can be delivered from the company intranet or via Vimeo or YouTube.
- People must have access to learning opportunities. Many firms have adopted learning management system to offer online learning for both professional and personal development. Some of my clients have created some very engaging learning using iPhone video, screen recording and other low cost tools. They deliver this video based learning on YouTube or Vimeo. You should at least have a process to encourage people to request training and demonstrate your commitment to training by allocating a budget for this purpose.
- Coaching and mentoring will do so much to ensure you do not lose valuable knowledge when people leave your business. Most people really enjoy the opportunity to coach and mentor other people. You must ensure there is a purpose and a pathway for the coaching and mentoring to avoid the program going off the rails.
- Celebrate! Celebration is a social activity that is one of the easiest ways to build relationship bonds between people. I always recommend that no birthday goes un-celebrated. You can celebrate new sales, achievement of goals, personal milestones etc. You can also include social functions around the holidays such as Christmas. One of my personal favourites is including your key customers in some celebrations. What better way to forge strong bonds of engagement between your people and the people they serve.
The 8 actions above should be done regardless of whether you see signs of deteriorating engagement in your business. If you are aware of the need to improve people engagement it may be time to get some help. Let’s face it: it always helps having another person to give you perspective and honest feedback. You need to get some advice from a person who can bring ‘fresh thinking’ to your business and get your people engaged and performing at their peak.
Do you need a trusted business advisor, someone who can help you see your business and goals through ‘fresh eyes’? Contact me and I will work with you to look at where you want to go and help you find the best way to get there.