How to engage your employees and encourage them to go the extra mile

Author:- Stig Falster Interock

Why is this important?

A major differentiator in the performance of companies has been found to be related to the level of engagement.  Most companies would be surprised at the lack of engagement of most of their employees, although the signs are usually there for all to see.

The statistics (Gallup) indicate that 70% of workers (in the US) are not engaged at work; 89% of managers believe their people leave for more money, yet only 12% do!  75% of those leaving do so because of their bosses!

What to do

Why do employees leave and how do we increase the level of employee engagement?  Leaders need to do all they can to ensure they foster an engaged workforce that will continue to thrive and move forward in spite of the challenges that lie ahead.  Those businesses that can nurture an engaged culture will survive and thrive when times improve.

There are three different levels that can be identified as locations of engagement in the workplace:

Addressing engagement at each of these unique levels requires different actions.  Let’s examine the different ways leaders can address engagement and motivate employees to be more committed and excited about their daily tasks.

Engagement at organisational level

Below are the steps you need to take before you can attempt to change your organisational culture

  1. Examine and understand the current culture

    Each organisation's culture is unique.  The mission, vision, and strategy of your organisation are important in identifying whether or not the culture of your organisation supports engagement.

  2. Implement the following five actions to aid in improving engagement at the organisational level:

    - Identify opportunities

    - Simplify solutions

    - Take action

    - Hold employees accountable

    - Commit to developing your employees

The result should be an engaged organisation with robust and genuine values, clear evidence of trust and equity based on mutual respect, where promises and commitments between employers and staff are two-way, understood and fulfilled.


Engagement at managerial level

Good managers recognise that the actions of senior leadership, managers, and supervisors are the key drivers of engagement. To harness this you must:

  1. Define clearly the key drivers of engagement in every leader's job description and leadership skill set. 

  2. Offer your team members clarity, appreciation, positive feedback and coaching.  Engagement may not be solely an internal motivation issue - there are often role-specific factors affecting employee engagement.

  3. Ask yourself the following:

    - Do I have the right people in the appropriate leadership positions?

    - Is leadership development an issue?

    - Is it both of the above?

Your answers will determine the ensuing course of action.


Engagement at employee level

  1. Make sure you have the right employees in the right positions where they can thrive and grow. 

    This will result in greater productivity and commitment to the organisation.  To survive the demographic changes in the workforce you must rethink your workforce strategies and transform your management and human resource practices to attract, engage, and retain workers of all ages.

    The most engaged employees tend to have a good fit to their current job and their performance generally exceeds your expectations.  These employees not only achieve their goals, but have the ability to elevate the performance of other employees, team members, departments, and divisions.

  2. Challenge and develop employees

    You may also need to think differently about challenging your employees.  Research shows that managers are up to four times more engaged than front-line employees.  This is due to the additional challenges managers face.  Provide your employees with stretch goals, avoid micromanaging, and let them learn from their mistakes

  3. Bring it all together

    It is impossible to create a culture of engagement without knowing the personality and characteristics of your employees and managers.  Assessments provide leaders with the tools to learn more about their employees and how they fit into their job and the organisation.  This also ensures that employees are given roles that will help them to grow and use their inherent skills and attributes.

Source: Stig Falster – Sales Director, Interock

Editor: Charisse Gray

Interock Pty Limited

A provider of specialised HR solutions working with a wide range of organisations and individuals assisting them to achieve enhanced effectiveness in the selection and recruitment process;  increase employee performance, identify targeted talent, and provide staff development through a select range of collaborative partnerships and utilising a series of advanced assessment tools, complemented by a suite of e-learning programs. Contact Interock

This article was first published in Ask Us How, NSW Business Chamber’s portal for members