Accountability And Employee Engagement
As a practitioner in the Human Resources field I am often asked about the silver bullet or magic potion that can be used to keep an organization’s best and brightest employees engaged. There is no magic potion, but there are a few simple things managers can do to support a frame work of employee engagement.
Provide Clear Expectations
Tell employees what is expected of them. This is something that many managers assume employees know or understand. However, what often occurs is an expectations miss-match, wherein employees think they are doing the right things, and managers fail to tell them when they have gone of course. In my experience employees want to know what is expected of them, and they want managers to be honest with them when they fail to meet expectations.
Hold Employees Accountable
When someone on your team fails to meet your expectations tell them. Do not make the assumption that the employee will know that he or she did not meet your expectations. The conversation does not need to be a big dramatic event, rather it can be structured as a lessons learned session, where both you and the employee learn about what can be done in the future to improve the process. It is important to include the employee in the problem solving conversation because it provides a sense of empowerment. When one is given the chance to provide feedback, input and ideas, it leads to a greater sense of buy in and follow through.
Stop Focusing On Underperformers.
Throughout my career I have spent countless hours trying to get someone who is underperforming up to speed. If you want to keep your most valuable employees engaged, focus on their performance and their development. In this instance the squeaky wheel is a squeaky wheel. If the underperforming employee cannot meet expectations or cannot perform the duties of the positon for whatever reason, then as a manager you owe it to yourself, your team and your organization, to coach the employee into another role or out of the organization.
Learn About What Motivates Your Employees
We all know that employees are motivated by different things. Find out what motivates your highly engaged employees. Give them opportunities to utilize their strengths and talents in new and varied areas. Not all employees will be motivated by high profile projects or work assignments, but the more you know about your team member the more you will connect with them and in turn keep them connected to their job.
Talk To Your Employees
Ask your top producers how they are and mean it. Simple things like coaching sessions and informal conversations can provide surprising results in understanding the employee’s attitude and connection to the organization.