Keeping Employees Engaged Will Keep Your Mission on Course

It’s a new year, a new decade, and prime time for new strategic plans. Like a business version of a resolution, organizations can set goals and objectives that support the mission. Now, all we need are for employees to embrace the organization’s fresh new initiatives. Are our employees engaged and ready to tackle the goals and objectives that will drive the success of our mission?

Employee engagement is one of the foundations of company success, and it must resonate with every employee. However, ensuring and maintaining employee engagement is no easy task. As leaders, our focus on engagement may fall short because of the many priorities we have for the week, month, and quarter. Also, as leaders, how do we determine if employees are engaged with their work or need coaching?

Research has shown that engaged employees have a sense of pride in their organization and its vision. They provide a work ethic that goes beyond basic job requirements. Engaged employees understand that their job contributes to the success of the organization and that coming to work every day engaged affects the mission. Engaged employees perceive their job as meaningful and rewarding. In turn, engaged employees provide excellent job performance and service for leaders, coworkers, and customers.

To achieve or maintain employee engagement, leaders need an understanding of the attributes that encourage great behaviors. On a broad scale, leaders need to get people in the right job, set clear expectations, make sure employees have what they need to do their job, and be generous with praise and appreciation. Leaders need to take responsibility for actions, follow through on commitments, acknowledge when employee efforts make a difference, and provide a context for decisions. Leaders need to hold conversations to discuss interests, aspirations, and developmental needs with employees, recognize strengths and utilize them, and illuminate confidence in the employee’s skills and abilities.

Also, leaders need to collaborate across the organization by inviting others into conversations. They need to build relationships outside of work units. If done well, the returns are well worth the effort.

It is the dawn of a new decade. Start it off by assessing how engaged your employees are in your organization. Make a few behavior modifications to help encourage and enhance your employee engagement. Be bold and make it a strategic initiative. As a leader, you won’t regret making employee engagement a priority. It will benefit your department, the customer, the entire organization, and set the tone for successful years to come.