When it comes to engagement, don’t just look to your membership. Target your own employees, too. According to Gallup Poll last year, only 31.5 percent of U.S. employees reported feeling engaged in their jobs. Imagine the increase in productivity if you could inspire people and truly engage them at work. Here are seven employee engagement tips to energize your team:
1. Emphasize how their work contributes to the greater good.
People who work for associations are often motivated by the aspiration to help the common good. Your mission and your connection to the community can be a huge motivating factor. Unfortunately, it can be hard to connect the daily grind to a greater cause. Make sure your employees understand how their tasks contribute to the whole and how doing a good job really does make a difference to your overall mission.
2. Believe in your people.
Psychologically, people want to succeed. They want to feel like they did a good job. No one aspires to be mediocre. So treat them with respect and take their concerns seriously; these are often windows into what’s preventing your employees from feeling engaged.
3. Acknowledge a good job.
Celebrating your team’s successes on a weekly basis reinforces the behavior you’re trying to foster.
4. Back them up and have an open door.
Research has shown that people leave bosses, they don’t leave jobs. If you’re not working on building a good work relationship with your team, you’re not actively promoting an environment they will want to work in. This includes being available—both physically and emotionally—to help them when they need you.
5. Get to know their career goals.
You may not be able to promote them to the level they aspire to, but you can help them develop skills they want to learn.
6. Develop your staff with an eye for the future.
Even if your employee doesn’t articulate specific career goals, if they feel like they are stagnating in their jobs, they start to worry about their employability. This can eat away at their commitment to your organization. Train your employees, both with formal training and with informal job rotation. Offer them stretch projects that increases their exposure to new and exciting skills.
7. Provide wiggle room.
Research has shown that people prefer to have some control over their work—both how it is achieved and when it gets done. Give them some flexibility to plan their day in a way that makes sense for them. This includes making sure you don’t interrupt their work too often and that you give them the space to complete it.
American Management Association is a world-class leadership development provider in more than 40 countries worldwide. Our training is internationally recognized by 9 professional associations and 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies. This article first appeared in Connectivity’s free guide: Increasing Engagement: How to Keep Members Active When Your Issues Aren’t Hot
by Glen Justice // Jul 14, 2015