Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Are Your Employees Engaging?

More to the point, are you engaging your employees?

How often do you ask your employees for their input? We’re not talking about just a suggestion box outside the HR office (although there’s nothing wrong with that). We mean how often do you ask them face to face for their thoughts, ideas, observations . . . anything that might improve the workplace as well as the products you produce?

Do you know where the next big idea for your business is coming from? Research and development? Well, maybe. But more and more, traditional sources are being usurped by – you guessed it – employees, as well as customers and suppliers and everybody else in the company food chain.

It really just stands to reason. Engaged employees like what they do, like the company they work for, and want to see it succeed. Moving the organization forward moves them forward too.

Those employees who aren’t engaged are either just putting in the time or plain just flat out don’t care. Unfortunately, the unhappy ones can poison the well for even the best ones. And that’s a recipe for disaster.

What label would you assign to your employees? It doesn’t take great brainpower to determine that engaged employees are going to be the happiest and the most productive. Not only that, they would certainly be the least likely to entertain the thought of a third-party coming in and upsetting the situation.

Creating an atmosphere of involvement means making sure employees know where to go with their ideas. Telling a friend at work is one thing – and a good thing – but knowing exactly where to go to share their insight in the management hierarchy is even more important. Eliminating barriers, whether physical or mental, opens the door to conversation, discussion and inventiveness.

Recognizing input is also key. It can be monetary, but it doesn’t have to be. Internally communicating the suggestions and results made by employees not only has an extremely positive effect on those making the suggestions, but can spur others on to speak up and keep the ideas coming.

Every company welcomes new ideas. But have you created an atmosphere where those ideas are encouraged and acted upon? Engaged employees are generally happy employees. And happy employees can have a ripple effect throughout your workplace.

Want some suggestions? Talk to us. We’ve seen the good, and the not-so-good. Take advantage of our perspective.
Matt French

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