Although employees are ultimately responsible for their own level of engagement, smart organizations accept accountability for their own actions that support or undermine the level of connection employees feel to the business. While it is without question that disengaged employees can be costly to employers large and small, the impact employee disengagement has on small businesses is particularly profound. If your businesses wants to thrive, consider some of the ways in which you can promote employee engagement including:
- Make the right hire. Disengagement can and often does start at the hiring process. Employers who put time in up front to define the job through well crafted and properly aligned job descriptions promote an understanding of the job between the prospective employee and the employer. Undertaking the effort to draft and vet job descriptions enables management to understand the key job requirements and therefore set performance expectations, while also enabling the candidates to self select given the clarity surrounding the role. Remember, a singular disgruntled employee can infect others.
- Be present and engaged. Too often, owners or managers allow themselves to get bogged down in running the business. Remember that people are a key element to the success of the business. After all, few businesses can run without people, and as a business grows, so too must its employee base. Walk around the office, the building, or the floor and look for opportunities to engage with employees as people. Employees notice when management make an effort to get to know employees, their interests, and concerns.
- Employ a broader perspective. Ask questions in an effort to view things from employees? perspectives. What is it like to work here? Use their responses as opportunities for discussion. Consider the responses thoughtfully and make sure that future decisions give due weight to that feedback.
Remember that putting into place policies and processes aligned with the business ethos goes a long way toward promoting a strong sense of employee connectedness. Businesses that want to retain their current customer base (if not improve it) are wise to treat employees in the same or similar manner that the business wants each employee to treat each customer. Results will follow.