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Employee Engagement: 4 Engagement Hacks for the Innovative Manager

Employee Engagement: 4 Engagement Hacks for the Innovative Manager


    (Editor’s Note: This is the second in a two-part series on employee engagement.)

    Now let’s discuss some options for increasing the level of positive engagement in your work environment.

    Option 1: Leverage Shared Responsibility

    Most agree that employers and employees share responsibility for the factors that create an engaging work environment. In a recent survey conducted by Training magazine and The Ken Blanchard Companies, individual respondents saw it as their primary responsibility to improve the factors of:

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    • Meaningful Work
    • Autonomy
    • Workload Balance
    • Task Variety
    • Collaboration
    • Connectedness with Leader
    • Connectedness with Colleagues

    They saw their managers as primarily responsible for improving the factors of Feedback, Procedural Justice (Fairness), and Performance Expectations, and they saw senior leadership and systems as responsible for Growth and Distributive Justice.

    It is critical that employees understand where they have the power to control their own destiny, and when they need to speak up if a system is broken and needs to be changed.

    Option 2: Leverage Social Networks

    Social networks help with engagement because they facilitate an employee’s ability to publish content and connect easily with co-workers and managers.  The latest in intranet technology is what I call a super-intranet, which is designed to be a welcoming source of information and support as well as a hub for real-time interaction.

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    A wonderful example of a well-executed super-intranet is NASA’s Spacebook.  Launched in 2009, Spacebook is a professional network that lets NASA people around the world interface with each other through the use of user profiles, forums, groups, and social tagging. Employees have their own pages where they can publish their own status, share files, follow others’ activity, and join communities of interest.  Spacebook aids the discovery of new ideas and approaches and encourages knowledge transfer as shifting demographics threaten NASA’s ranks.

    Option 3: Leverage Your Virtual Teams

    Given the number of virtual employees in most modern organizations, paying special attention to their engagement is essential.  The most effective virtual teams have access to sophisticated collaboration tools so that project work is efficient and seamless, and they use instant messaging, videoconferencing and super-intranets like Spacebook to converse in real time.

    The best virtual teams have also met in person more than once. Because they have had the opportunity to build in-person relationships, they are less likely to experience misunderstandings and breeches of trust.  Engaged virtual teams also know and communicate with their manager well.  Weekly check-ins and occasional visits support the virtual team member’s affiliation with and loyalty to the organization.

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    Option 4: Leverage Customized Career Paths

    Employers are beginning to recognize that one progressive and linear path in which all employees move from Points A to B to C it out of sync with many individuals’ desire for a life cycle-focused career.  For example, many aging Baby Boomers are opting to dial-back and work part-time instead of fully retiring so that they can continue to contribute brainpower while setting aside time for health and family concerns.

    Deloitte believes that long-term employee engagement and retention will result from a new method of career design it calls mass career customization.  Through a combination of climbs, lateral moves, and planned descents, individuals are able to pursue personal and professional goals while remaining tied to the organization.  Although career customization sounds like it would be difficult to implement, it really starts one manager to employee conversation at a time.

    What are your engagement hacks?  What do you do as an individual and as a manager to keep your team energized and committed?

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    (Photo credit:

      Businesswoman Drawing Out Innovation via Shutterstock)

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      Last Updated on August 20, 2018

      Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What

      Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What

      Do you know that feeling? The one where you have to wake up to go to your boring 9-5 job to work with the same boring colleagues who don’t appreciate what you do.

      I do, and that’s why I’ve decided to quit my job and follow my passion. This, however, requires a solid plan and some guts.

      The one who perseveres doesn’t always win. Sometimes life has more to offer when you quit your current job. Yes, I know. It’s overwhelming and scary.

      People who quit are often seen as ‘losers’. They say: “You should finish what you’ve started”.

      I know like no other that quitting your job can be very stressful. A dozen questions come up when you’re thinking about quitting your job, most starting with: What if?

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      “What if I don’t find a job I love and regret quitting my current job?”
      “What if I can’t find another job and I get in debt because I can’t pay my bills?”
      “What if my family and friends judge me and disapprove of the decisions I make?”
      “What if I quit my job to pursue my dream, but I fail?

      After all, if you admit to the truth of your surroundings, you’re forced to acknowledge that you’ve made a wrong decision by choosing your current job. But don’t forget that quitting certain things in life can be the path to your success!

      One of my favorite quotes by Henry Ford:

      If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

      Everything takes energy

      Everything you do in life takes energy. It takes energy to participate in your weekly activities. It takes energy to commute to work every day. It takes energy to organize your sister’s big wedding.

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      Each of the responsibilities we have take a little bit of our energy. We only have a certain amount of energy a day, so we have to spend it wisely.  Same goes for our time. The only things we can’t buy in this world are time and energy. Yes, you could buy an energy drink, but will it feel the same as eight hours of sleep? Will it be as healthy?

      The more stress there is in your life, the less focus you have. This will weaken your results.

      Find something that is worth doing

      Do you have to quit every time the going gets touch? Absolutely not! You should quit when you’ve put everything you’ve got into something, but don’t see a bright future in it.

      When you do something you love and that has purpose in your life, you should push through and give everything you have.

      I find star athletes very inspiring. They don’t quit till they step on that stage to receive their hard earned gold medal. From the start, they know how much work its going to take and what they have to sacrifice.

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      When you do something you’re really passionate about, you’re not in a downward spiral. Before you even start you can already see the finish line. The more focus you have for something, the faster you’ll reach the finish.

      It is definitely possible to spend your valuable time on something you love and earn money doing it. You just have to find out how — by doing enough research.

      Other excuses I often hear are:

      “But I have my wife and kids, who is going to pay the bills?”
      “I don’t have time for that, I’m too busy with… stuff” (Like watching TV for 2 hours every day.)
      “At least I get the same paycheck every month if I work for a boss.”
      “Quitting my job is too much risk with this crisis.”

      I understand those points. But if you’ve never tried it, you’ll never know how it could be. The fear of failure keeps people from stepping out of their comfort zone.

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      I’ve heard many people say, “I work to let my children make their dream come true”. I think they should rephrase that sentence to: “I pursue my dreams — to inspire and show my children anything is possible.” 

      Conclusion

      Think carefully about what you spend your time on. Don’t waste it on things that don’t brighten your future. Instead, search for opportunities. And come up with a solid plan before you take any impulsive actions.

      Only good things happen outside of your comfort zone.

      Do you dare to quit your job for more success in life?

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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