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Accountability is Key with Employee Engagement

Note: This post is the last of a three-part series on re-engaging your employees. Click here to read part one: Want to Re-Engage Your Employees? Do This First…or here to read part two: 7 Ways to Inspire Your Employees

If you feel like you’ve been hearing a lot about employee engagement lately, it’s probably not your imagination…

From the recent Towers Watson survey that shows that only 21 percent of workers feel “highly engaged” in their work, to the Hewitt Associates study that shows that employee engagement and morale have declined more in 2010 than in at least the past 15 years - not to mention Corporate Executive Board’s recent finding that a mere 23 percent of employees indicated a high level of “intent to stay” with their current companies this year – employee engagement is basically the ‘HMU’ among talent management experts.

And it’s no wonder, either: It’s not unusual for businesses to see high staff turnover rates following periods of economic depression, so now is the time for employers to focus on ways to retain their top talent.

In my earlier posts from this series, I discussed the first two of workplace management expert Holly Green’s three steps to re-engaging your employees: informing and inspiring. Finally, we’ve gotten to the third part: engaging your employees. Among the benefits of having engaged employees are higher rates of productivity and lower (costly) turnover rates. Plus, they’re way more fun to be around.

Step 3 – Engaging Your Employees

To keep employees engaged, Green shares the following 7 tips to use as a guideline:

  1. Answer the question, “Why will we still win?” Once again, consider what winning looks like for your team, and think about how you will achieve that even in the face of adversity or setbacks.
  2. Get great at giving feedback.
  3. Get great at giving feedback…on a regular basis. Visit with employees throughout the year to check on their progress. Make sure all individual goals remain aligned with company goals.
  4. Show and tell. Share stories of how teams are aligned and achieving goals. Highlight team accomplishments and link them to the strategy they support.
  5. Write it down and put it up. Create an employee pledge wall or flip chart where people can affirm their commitment by listing one thing they will do differently to support the goals.
  6. Get great at getting feedback. To measure employee understanding, commitment, inspiration and engagement, take quick surveys following team or company meetings.
  7. Go public. Solicit questions via email or intranet and address them in open forums. Publicly thank employees for raising the issues.

As you go through this list, remember that your actions speak to your employees much louder than your words do. So you can talk about winning all you want, but if your own actions don’t reflect that you don’t care about the goals of the company yourself – your employees will not only notice, but walk away with the message that they shouldn’t have to care, either. “The more your behavior is in alignment with what you are saying,” she says, “the more you will inform, inspire and engage your employees.”

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
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