Five Steps to Linking Employee Engagement to Productivity
At least two concepts that we emphasize in our own work are reflected in this useful article from eLearningindustry.com about fostering employee engagement to raise productivity. One, connecting engagement to productivity doesn’t have to be expensive. Each boss can achieve a ton with simple interpersonal actions each day, five of which we share below. Two, we see our “never stop onboarding” philosophy underlying many of the eleven ideas. (Find more about unending onboarding here.)
I don’t care how many years an employee has been with you. Treat every one of them as if they have just started. What can you do to help them succeed? Answer that question every day! You don’t have to have a fresh answer to the question every day, but over time you should keep coming up with new ways to meet that goal.
(One great way to keep those supportive ideas going? Ask each employee what they think could really help.)
You don’t work in a vacuum chamber. You work in an interactive, lively mix of personalities, behaviors and motivations. Get to know them in greater depth and work hard to keep them all aligned with your mission.
The best route to achieving that alignment? Tie their internal drivers (aka motivations) tightly to your group’s values. How best to do that?
Conversations – You can’t learn about your people and their motivations without talking to them. You can’t discuss how their role fits into the whole without talking, either. No matter how you construct your dialogue, make sure it is ongoing.
Explanations – Employees work harder when they understand how their role, and outcomes, fit into and support the organization’s mission. Everyone feels better about themselves when they feel that their role is meaningful and contributory. Talk about that regularly.
Recognitions – Reinforce the behaviors you seek, and the outcomes you want, by recognizing and rewarding them when you see them happen. Simple “thank you’s,” public acknowledgements, small rewards like an afternoon off (or a late morning arrival!) go a long way in reinforcing desired actions.
Exemplifications – Walk your talk. Act as you would like them to act. Ask how you are doing, and act on advice as appropriate.
Actions – Respond to requests for help. Seek and ask about issues that inhibit productivity. Obtain and provide needed resources.
Ensuring that your employees understand your company’s values is one of the best ways to engage with them; you want to create a team of people who adopt those values. Sharing this commitment will strengthen the bonds between your employees, as well as to your organization. This will motivate each person to contribute at a higher level. (We have seen this dynamic play out hundreds of times.)
Everyone has the same amount of time each day. What everyone does with that time is your area of opportunity as a leader. Raise engagement 10% through active interventions like those described above and you will raise productivity at least 10%. I guarantee it!
Building employee engagement and productivity is a process, not an event. And it never ends!