Every employer wants engaged employees. The main reason is that employees who are engaged are more productive, efficient and their overall performance is exceptional. No wonder such employees are in high demand. 

After all, such employees are very effective at helping any company grow and develop further. However, employees are never engaged when they start working. Finding an employee who is already engaged when they start working at a company is very rare, indeed. 

Fortunately, any employee can become engaged, you just need to find a way to encourage them to do so. Well, that’s easy; you just give them a raise, right? Actually, no. 

Although money is, in fact, a good motivator, it’s not always a priority from an employee’s point of view. You’ll have to dig a bit further to discover what your employees need so that you can meet those needs and encourage engagement. With that in mind, here are a few proactive ways to build engagement from your team. 

Proper onboarding

One of the best proactive ways to build employee engagement is to prepare a well-designed onboarding process. As you may already know, onboarding is a process of welcoming new hires, showing them how the company operates and helping them adjust to the new environment. 

A good onboarding process is of vital importance for future employee engagement, as well as their retention. That said, around 20% of turnovers tend to happen within the first 45 days. Employees who aren’t happy simply leave by then. 

Of course, a lot of companies have onboarding processes but the majority of those only last one month. Only 37% of companies have onboarding that lasts longer than that. 

Therefore, if you design an onboarding process that will not only last longer but also help new hires adjust properly, you can pave the way for future engagement. Moreover, 69% of new hires are more likely to remain at your company for three years or more if they are satisfied with your onboarding process. 

Proper praise

Oftentimes, you don’t have to do much to encourage employees to become engaged. If you’re proactive and give your employees proper praise and recognition every day, you’ll eventually see a great improvement in their productivity, efficiency, and overall performance. 

A simple “good job” or “you’re doing great, keep at it” can be a significant morale boost for employees. Don’t just praise them after they’ve completed a task, milestone, or company goal. Give them praise even when they are not doing well or when they are in the middle of their work. 

After all, no one likes to do stuff that goes unnoticed or unappreciated. In most cases, company owners or managers don’t even show appreciation when the results are good but they won’t hesitate to scold employees when the results are below expectations. This is how you lose employees and not how you encourage engagement. 

Introduce flexibility

One of the main motivators for any employee is flexibility. Flexibility helps employees achieve work-life balance, which is very important to pretty much everyone. Don’t wait for employees to ask you to loosen up their schedule. 

Instead, be proactive about it. What you can do is introduce flexible work hours, enable remote work and perhaps even provide employees with more days off when they need it the most. For example, if someone needs to take care of a kid that caught the flu, they can just call in that they’re not coming to work, instead of sending a formal request via mail and waiting for a response. 

Of course, such flexibility can oftentimes become a bit chaotic. However, you can always try to find the best time and attendance software to help you manage the new schedule. With a bit of practice, you can make it work and it won’t cost your company anything. On the other hand, it will mean a lot to your employees and they’ll become more engaged as a sign of appreciation. 

Involve your employees

Oftentimes, the best way to be proactive at building engagement from your team is to give them more responsibility and encourage them to showcase their true potential. That doesn’t mean you should bury them in work but instead, you should involve them in making executive decisions or crafting company strategies. 

Employees have different perspectives than corporate executives and that’s a good thing. They can see the problem consumers are having because they themselves are consumers as well. They may be able to come up with different solutions that could benefit your company in the long run and give it a much-needed competitive advantage. 

Giving employees an opportunity to shine is not just good for your company but it will also encourage employees to become more engaged. They will want to prove that they can handle more important tasks and they’ll give their best while doing so. 

Avoid micromanaging

A lot of employers and managers tend to keep a close eye on their employees. You linger over them like a bad omen, always watching and always making sure no one makes a mistake. This may seem like a great idea to you but it’s actually a morale killer. 

This type of behavior is called micromanaging. It’s quite the opposite of building engagement. It causes employees to lose productivity and motivation. That said, don’t wait for the consequences to show you that you’re, indeed, wrong. Instead, be proactive and avoid this behavior altogether. 

If you catch yourself micromanaging, stop immediately and apologize. Give your employees the freedom and space they need to do their work well. By relieving them of pressure, you’re allowing them to build their own pace and ultimately become more engaged. 

Building engagement from your team isn’t easy but it isn’t difficult either. You just have to realize that employees have needs and expectations and if you manage to meet those, you can ensure that they’ll not just become more engaged but also more loyal to your company. 

Posted by Raul Harman