With workplace trends shifting, employers are now more focused on employee engagement, and it got me thinking about previous positions I have held and what made me feel engaged or disengaged. I am now in a position that my behaviour and treatment of individuals can have a profound impact on them personally, and ultimately the success of the business.
I’ve read A LOT of articles, reports and blogs on the subject of employee engagement and it is mind boggling, and a little scary. There is talk of mental health policies, psychological safety, flexibility, community, benefits, appreciation etc., and I have decided it doesn’t have to be so complicated, I just have to put myself back in my previous shoes – the lessons are all there.
- Stop checking employee start/stop times
I HATED clock watching. No one ever noticed or acknowledged when I worked late, but they did notice if I happened to be 5 minutes late in the morning. You reap what you sow, people have different pressures in life at different times – be kind and understanding.
- Let people choose to work where they want
As long as your team can accomplish their work, does it matter where it happens or even when. I know it can’t be said for all industries, but trust your team to deliver in the time frames that have been agreed.
- Encourage time off – guilt free
Stepping away is super important. I used to lie to my old boss about having a doctor’s appointment, when in reality I was at my child’s nativity play. Empower your team, take interest in them and what they enjoy doing outside of work and share special moments.
- Listen to team feedback
I shoot from the hip, and it isn’t always welcome. I introduced Officevibe, a people-first employee experience platform which encourages open, honest, anonymous feedback. This way I give the team the opportunity to communicate so I can make changes that make a real difference.
- Trust your team
They are adults. They have a job to do. You hired them. Give them the autonomy needed to perform.
No one performs well with someone on their back, so don’t go there.
- Reward and recognise
We all have good days and bad days, be human and understand that learning is a process. Listen, share frustrations, say thank you and celebrate wins. We’ve set up a Teams channel called ‘You Beauty!’ which enables the team to share successes.
- The golden rule
Value each and every person, they are all individuals. This isn’t one size fits all approach, but after everything that I have read, I don’t think you can go too far wrong if you treat people with the concern and kindness you would like them to show towards you.