Employees are the backbone of any organisation. It is their efforts that drive success. There is just one condition; employees need to be engaged in their work.
According to a recent Gallup study, about 85% employees are not engaged or actively disengaged in their job! That’s a scary number if we talk about a global scale! Why are people not engaged in their jobs?
For employees to be engaged in the organisation, they need to be excited about coming in to work. Some employees get complacent working in the same environment and in the same manner. Others simply do not feel the urge to give their best and start looking for better options. This could be due to many reasons such as lack of learning and development opportunities or not getting recognized and so on.
Many find it difficult to thrive in such an environment. Organisations should find ways to create sustainable performance so that employees look forward to working with them.
The two most important components of sustainable performance are: Learning and Passion. It is worth noting that Learning without Passion is simply getting more knowledge that may or may not be put to use. And passion without learning is simply being excited but having no idea about what needs to be done to become more productive.
If the management is able to create a culture that encourages both, then half the battle is already won. Here are 4 things that can help you with the process:
For employees to find meaning in their work, they need to be able to see the larger picture. They should be made aware of the organisational goals and how their efforts contribute towards them. Once they understand the ‘Why’, ‘How’, ‘What’ and ‘When’ of those goals, it gets easier for them to relate.
Some companies have a system to share this information that has helped them to build trust and give employees the knowledge they need to make good decisions and take initiative with confidence.
Your annual report may have a plethora of statistics. Not every employee can associate themselves to those complex facts and figures. All that data will have little meaning to the employees. This information needs to be broken down in to a context that can be easily understood by all teams.
- Conduct regular meetings to align individual goals with organisational goals
- Explain how individuals efforts have made a difference to the organisation
- Carry out anonymous surveys to determine if your teams are familiar with the company’s vision
Delegate decision-making authority
By delegating decision making authority to employees, management is empowering them to take decisions on their behalf.
It is highly unlikely that employees will be able to take the right decisions from day 1 and every single time. There are bound to be some errors occassionally. Here, let mistakes happen – Feedback can be given in the latter stages to demonstrate accountability. Just don’t make the same mistakes twice.
- Establish clear list of do’s and don’ts
- Make sure there is a thorough understanding of organisational goals
- Convey the risk associated with taking ill-informed decisions
- Ensure availability of resources at hand
- Review and assess the outcome of the decision
Check rude behaviour
This one may be surprising to see here. But someone’s rude behaviour can be one of the top reasons that their team members stop performing actively. It can be difficult to work in an environment where rude behaviour remains unchecked. It can be contagious as well.
Victims of such behaviours may find it difficult to continue working with the same zeal prior to that the spat. Their only option could be to get even with the offender or simply get out. Either option can be very harmful to the environment. The first one will only spread negativity in the workplace while the second will increase the attrition rate.
Pull aside offenders and make the ground rules clear. Give a warning for the first time and for any incident post that, take the appropriate steps as per your company policy. In such instances, it is recommended to have a psychologically safe environment. That way, employees can share their thoughts without the fear of retribution.
- Conduct organisation wide anonymous surveys to get input about rude behaviour
- Encourage employees to talk about incidents where they have faced similar behaviour irrespective of whether it was their colleagues or their managers
Offering performance feedback:
Offering real-time, contextual feedback is crucial for developing individuals in the organisation. When people face difficulties, their managers should give them appropriate feedback and set them on the right path. All achievements or exemplary performance should also be duly recognized at the same time. These steps help to maintain the morale of employees and keeps them motivated to give their best.
It can be difficult to keep track of the exchange of feedback between managers and employees as well as among team members. Thus, it makes sense to buy a feedback software that can manage all these exchanges efficiently. Particularly, during performance reviews, it gets easy to identify the wins and losses throughout a specific period which makes the whole process more transparent and objective.
- Use a feedback software to give contextual feedback
- Create a culture of 360 degree feedback within the organisation
- Encourage everyone to freely give and seek feedback
You need to make sure that all 4 of the above initiatives are integrated within your company culture. If even one of the pillars is missing, the rest 3 will make some difference but not to the extent of all 4 being present. At the same time, these initiatives do not require the company to spend a lot of money or efforts. Ultimately, it will help employees become more engaged in their work and provide more value.