Employee re-engagement (make them happy) is not difficult once you recognise it is required. As a director, you may need to re-organise management because we all know that “People leave managers, not jobs”.
Having looked at various companies and advised them on engagement, most of the time, it has been due to bad managers.
Once the issues have been identified and dealt with, it is time to get the employees engaged and working for you because they want to, not because they have to.
What are the three types of employee engagement?
Actively engaged employees are productive and happy and keep your company running.
Disengaged employees are the ones who do the bare minimum to keep the salary comping but will generally walk as soon as they find a better offer. This group also cost you money and will deplete your profit margin.
Fifteen ways to engage an unengaged employee?
Now that we understand what employee engagement is and what it brings to the table, let’s look at 15 ways of employee re-engagement
Even if you are lucky enough to have a fully engaged team, this list may help you keep it that way. Just like any relationship, you need to work at it, at the point you take it for granted is the point it walks out of the door.
Here is a list of ways you can encourage that re-engagement.
Stop talking and listen. What do they want? What ideas do they have? OK, you can’t give them everything, but if you stop talking for a while and listen to what they tell you, they may respect you more.
Remind them you watch them!
If you let them know you are watching (not in a wrong way) and tell them how happy you are with their work and progress, they will not feel as if they are just left alone to work. Don’t just engage with them when there is a problem.
Don’t play the numbers game in reviews!
During annual reviews, you will generally pose questions and ask what score they feel they have in each of the performance KPIs you are reviewing. If you ask how they think they have performed and they reply with “ten, “you come straight in with, “I think you are a 4” you will destroy them.
The best way is to bin the numbers and have an open and honest conversation. If they are falling short in an area, find out from them if they know why then make a plan.
Set goals together!
This goes with the reviews. Look at the strengths and weaknesses, look at the progression and make a plan to deal with all areas that you agree on together.
Say “Thank you.”
I have said this in so many of my articles, and I maintain it is a phrase that many managers have managed to remove from their vocabulary. When someone does a good job, when they do something you have asked them to do, then for the love of god, say “Thank you”! This is the easiest method of employee re-engagement
Nothing is more ignorant than not saying thank you when appropriate.
Let them in on the big picture!
What they don’t know, they make up. Please keep them in the picture about company developments. Show them what their hard work is delivering and even let them in on bad news.
“One volunteer is better than ten pressed men” if there is bad news and your team decides to fight for the company, you have a better chance of making it through the troubles.
“Wax on, Wax off” all day, every day! This is not the work for everyone, so create opportunities for those in your team who want to move up and progress. Even give them the opportunity to change the way things work; you may find a diamond idea.
Try flexible hours!
Make sure they know you want them to “Work to live” and not “Live to work”. Ensure they know you like their families to come first in life and the company after that. Try and figure out schedules that help them with this.
Set clear expectations!
Be clear in your expectations of them, how you think they should achieve them and cast them in stone. Occasionally the goalposts will need to move. If they do move, then reset the expectations in a conversation with the team, but don’t do it every five minutes and make sure there is a valid reason for the change.
Discover hidden talents!
Believe it or not, the people working for you have a life and maybe several other jobs before they land on your team. Look at their past lives, what they did and what skillsets they learned along the way. You may find that currently or in the future, you can leverage these skill sets.
Seek customer reviews!
Nothing feels better than the boss reading a good review or testimonial from a client or customer about you in front of the team. Put processes in place to allow customers or clients to write these reviews and name specific people.
It is amazing to see senior managers and directors sitting around a table trying to solve major “coal face” problems. They will spend all day talking, but nine times out of ten will not go to the people at the “coal face” and ask them for potential solutions.
Very rarely will this fail to produce an answer. But be sure to accept them telling you, “We told you this would happen.”
Be sensible with policy!
Company policies, in general, should be treated as guidelines and not law. You have hired adults, so treat them as such until they show they can’t be. For instance, if an employee has no meetings or client visits and there are no special guests in the office, then why make them wear a suit?
The only way to learn in life is to make mistakes. We have been doing that since birth. Expect them to make mistakes and expect them to fail. When they do, do not berate them but turn the failure into a learning opportunity.
Shut up and listen to them! You will hear that employee re-engagement is simple.