According to research, an article published in the New York Daily News states that nearly 70% of American employees are miserable and unhappy at work and unfortunately, the majority of Americans dislike or feel disengaged on the job. The disconnection between the organization and the employees is a wake-up call for leaders. Leaders are having a difficult time trying to find ways to increase engagement with today’s employees, a workforce that is much more diverse and younger than ever before.
Leaders need to let go and direct their employees to mature within new and expansive roles and responsibilities. Employees want to feel valued; they want to be trusted and have the freedom to explore and learn on the job. Nowadays, employees don’t mind stretching themselves thin over assignments; however, they want to be given the opportunity to further their knowledge or the chance to excel at what they do. It is the leader’s responsibility to generate new opportunities for their employees. With closed doors, the workplace will lack innovation. So how do leaders increase engagement in the workforce? Here are some tips to consider:
Discover the positive capabilities of people
Instead of spending time being critical of what your employees are not doing right, identify what they are naturally gravitating towards – something that gets them excited. Put the job description aside and pay attention to what areas your employees enjoy and excel in. Build a plan that utilizes their most positive capabilities to create the most desired outcome. Everyone wants to enjoy what they do at work, so allow your employees to engage with the business in ways that generate the results that you require while giving them the flexibility to navigate and explore how they can best contribute.
Give them a chance to influence
Allow your employees to be great at their job, instead of just good. Give them the opportunity to be in a position of influence to see how they react and engage in their new role. Increasing engagement is a two-way street; it’s not only about how employees engage with their leaders, but how others react to them. Allow your employees to discover their potential to lead. Micromanaging will eventually lead your staff to disengage. Engaged employees are those whose leaders have confidence in them; who trust that they can always deliver when called upon.
Be consistent and be there for them
Leadership is all about having each other’s backs – especially for your employees. Leaders who are inconsistent or are perceived to be playing games will make employees disengage. Who wants to engage with a leader that can’t keep their word? No one. One reason why leaders lose top talent is because they just assume their employees will be loyal to them – rather than recognizing top talent requires leaders always to be looking out for their best interests. Leaders need to be emotionally intelligent and must be able to communicate to employees to stimulate workforce engagement.
To conclude, unhappy employees are unmotivated and unproductive. Having such employees could be detrimental to the company in the long run. Fortunately, stimulating engagement is one way to increase employee satisfaction. Today, leaders must constantly focus on the growth of their teams and improve the capabilities of individuals that can make the team more effective. Leadership requires a lot of time and effort, and if you can’t commit to the time and hours, you should reconsider the leadership role. To learn more on how to engage your employees in the workforce, read “6 Things Wise Leaders do To Engage Their employees”.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.