Current research indicates that as many as 70% of employees in typical organizations are disengaged or actively disengaged. The difference in these two terms is that those disengaged are looking for other jobs outside the organization while those actively disengaged are not only looking for jobs outside the organization but are busy encouraging other employees to join them. The most significant impact on employee engagement is the employee’s manager. Ineffective managers are three times more likely to have disengaged employees, costing an organization an average of $450 billion annually.
Below is a brief list of actions managers can take to ensure that their employees are engaged.
Develop Core Management Competencies
Take training programs, online or in person, that showcase the core skills of effective managers including communication, managing change and coaching and feedback. In addition, identify a manager with strong skills in these topics and ask him/her to mentor you.
Provide Clarity on Performance Expectations
One of the biggest derailers in providing effective performance reviews is that managers fail to clearly (and specifically) articulate the performance expectations they have of employees and to build employees’ commitment to these expectations. It is impossible to measure what you have not defined.
Provide Ongoing Coaching & Feedback
Employees want continuous feedback on their performance in a timely and constructive manner.
Support Employee Skill Development
Coaching and feedback provide an excellent opportunity for development discussions and plans with employees to insure their skills are well aligned with the changing scopes of their jobs.
Provide Ongoing Organizational Communication Updates to Their Teams
The more employees understand about the organization’s business initiatives and progress, the more they can align their own performance expectations to these. This is a GREAT commitment-builder!
So, where to begin? If I were listing these in priority order, I would list Providing Clarity on Performance Expectations as the best place to begin. Without a clear roadmap of expected performance, employees can spend most of their time floundering, which never results in commitment. Without this commitment, employee retention can become a more daunting managerial challenge than engagement!