How To Improve Individual Employee Engagement

Here in the UK, we’re pretty bad at engaging our employees, with ORC International’s ‘Global Perspectives’ employee engagement survey placing the UK 18th out of 20 countries. If the UK moved its engagement levels to the middle of the top quartile it would lead to a £25.8bn increase in GDP.

However large your team may be, to boost employee engagement, you have to start thinking smaller. It comes down to one question: what can you do to make each individual team member more engaged?

So, to help get the UK higher come the next survey,  we’ve put together 4 simple steps to boosting individual employee engagement that every manager can use.

  1. Listen to your team

Amy Jen Su, co-owner of Paravis Partners says that “as a leader, you need to have a strong voice and you need to know when it’s time to listen”. So, empower your team to encourage change by actively getting their thoughts, feedback and ideas. Ask questions that will provide insights that you can act on, and that will lead to genuine answers.

And remember to communicate richly. Try to respond to any team member’s enquiry within 24 hours and learn their individual personalities. Talking like a person allows you to build a genuine rapport, and is a great place to start when looking to engage employees.

Use regular surveys or polls to communicate to your entire team, but get individual responses.

  1. Support every team member

Focus on the strengths of your team, not the weaknesses. This allows each employee to learn their roles faster, produce a higher quality of work and maintain a happier work experience.

Don’t just highlight weaknesses or issues. Instead, provide constructive feedback alongside positive recognition. This shows that you’re not only looking for them to work well, you’re looking to help them improve, supporting them in a more effective way than simply telling them what’s right and what’s wrong. Simply put, it comes down to empowering your employees to perform at the best of their ability.

Schedule in regular, structured one-to-one meetings where the only purpose is to allow each team member to discuss their thoughts on their work environment and challenge you with ways things could be improved.

  1. Recognise and reward

Create an environment where employees know that their achievements will be acknowledged and not ignored or just accepted as standard.

Again, it comes down to learning individual personalities. Through discovering more about your team members as individuals, it allows you to personalise recognition, and tailor any rewards around the employees themselves. This makes your recognition seem more genuine, and your employees will feel even more grateful for it. Recognition, when deserved, will encourage further good work in the future, and will improve your employees’ attitudes towards the company.

Begin to celebrate individual successes in team meetings. This allows the whole team to aspire to more, and the individual to see that their hard work is appreciated.

  1. Focus on progression

Offer every team member opportunities for advancement, both in role and their skills. Find time to show what employees can work towards, as nothing is more motivating than an achievable hierarchy.

And don’t just show interest in your employees’ career plans, help them achieve it! Work to let them acquire the skills needed to progress, and it will help both them and you.  

Again, utilise structured one-to-one meetings to discuss progression and skills. Find out what each team member wants to personally improve and create a way for them to do it. Then, use follow up meetings to discuss their progress. Continued support is a must!
Whatever the size of your team, treating each team member as an individual is a guaranteed way to boost employee engagement. Find time to introduce regular, structured one-to-one meetings, get constant feedback from every team member and always act on the information you receive.

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