Five tips for successful employee engagement

At the dawn of a new decade, with the economy showing early signs of improvement, it feels like a time for new beginnings. Business leaders across the country are mapping out plans for 2010 and looking to start the New Year on a positive note, but as businesses regroup, management teams need to think about the connection they have with their people and how it could be improved.

Everyone knows that the last 12 months have been a difficult and uncertain time for employees. The question is - are your people prepared and motivated for the new challenges which 2010 will bring?

Earlier this year Nita Clarke and I wrote an independent report for Government called ‘Engaging for Success’. The findings presented a compelling case for employee engagement as a route to business success: through more informed, involved and supported employees willing to give extra input and effort to their company, driving up business performance as a result. For example, according to IES and the Work Foundation, if organisations increased investment in a range of good workplace practices which relate to engagement by just 10%, they would increase profits by up to £1,500 per employee per year.

The best news is that there are some very simple steps that any business can take over the next few weeks to help ensure there is greater commitment and motivation, putting them in better shape to welcome in the New Year.

Analyse your own behaviour
As a leader or manager, the way you behave will have a real impact on whether others are committed and eager to play their part in improving the business. Do you communicate with them regularly about the business? Do you seek their views and feedback? If not, simply taking these steps will help you strengthen relationships with your people.

Communicate strategy
Have you communicated with others regarding the goal and direction for your business? Have you helped build their understanding of business aims and where they fit in? Have you helped people understand where the business is going and why? Have you helped build a common goal which they can radiate to colleagues within the organisation and beyond?

Take time out to give an overview in a meeting, call employees together to help them understand how they will support progress in the year ahead.

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