Regardless of what’s happening with the economy – and maybe even because of what’s happening with the economy – organizations are recognizing the crucial elements of attracting and then retaining top talent. It’s not enough to land competitive hires, if you want to keep the people you invest in, you’ve got to learn how to create a great employee experience.
One of the ways companies are boosting employee morale and feedback is by creating programs focused on improving engagement. But creating programs can’t be the only thing that organizations do – managers at every level need to be actively involved in growing employee engagement.
How to create a great employee experience: 8 ways to engage and interact
At last year’s SAP SuccessFactors conference in London, one of the speakers discussed eight engagement opportunities to create a great day for employees – and don’t forget, when those good days add up, they tally a great employee experience.
8 ways managers can contribute to employee engagement each and every day:
- Deliver a learning moment. Learning can take place outside of the classroom and in small intervals. Managers have a real opportunity to coach and mentor employees. Help them learn new skills and knowledge that will improve their performance.
- Use the employee’s strengths. Every employee has a strength. The question becomes does the employee know what theirs are? And does the manager know? Managers have the ability to give employees assignments that show off their strengths.
- Tell employees that they made an impact. At the core of employee engagement is the concept that employees should understand how their work connects to the organization’s strategic goals and objectives. Managers should regularly tell employees how their work is benefitting the company.
- Recognize an employee’s accomplishments. “No news is good news” shouldn’t be an employee recognition program. Managers should let employees know that they’re appreciative of their efforts and results. Even the small things. Especially the small things.
- Offer inspiration. Organizations should take the time to understand what motivates and inspires their employees. Then deliver on it. Being inclusive, transparent, and conducting ourselves in an ethical manner can provide inspiration to the people around us.
- Help employees make progress toward their goals. Sometimes we have to do more than offer inspiration (See #5 above) and provide employees with tangible support toward goals. That might be approving attendance at a conference or seminar, sharing a book with an employee, or just listening.
- Create collaborative opportunities. So far, we’ve been talking about all of the things that managers should be doing. It’s important to remember that employees can learn, get recognition, and receive inspiration from co-workers. If we let them get involved in group activities.
- Let employees make it theirs. Finally, one of the best things we can do is let employees be themselves. That means managers should set expectations then get out of the way. They can be there to support and encourage, but let employees own the process and take credit for the results.
On an intrinsic level, leaders know that we should be interacting with employees regularly. Will we remember to do every single item on the above list each and every day? Of course not. But that’s not the point.
The point is: how many managers are engaging with at least one employee every day on this level? Or maybe managers are great at using an employee’s strengths, but not so great at creating collaborative opportunities.
The goal of every interaction is to provide employees with an engaging experience – and in turn, to grow a little yourself as well.