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Let’s keep it simple; your workplace has two types of employees. There are the engaged employees who move mountains for you and contribute to the company’s bottom line. Then there are disengaged employees who do what you tell them, but only because they know you’ll ask again!

Disengaged employees don’t really deliver their full potential. This doesn’t mean they can’t, though. That’s where great managers prove their worth, by engaging employees, helping them be a part of the influence-makers instead of being the ‘influenced’ ones. Here’s a guide for managers to engage employees and help them become more influential in the workplace.

The Opportunity for Expression

Employees are automatically more engaged and empowered when they can express their ideas, beliefs, personal opinions, and strengths in their work. Here’s how managers can nurture a culture that promotes ‘expression’.

  • Allocation of work and establishing key responsibilities in line with the core interests and strengths of the employee.
  • Stretch goals that make your people take the extra step, in return for more rewards at work.
  • Genuinely helping employees identify their key strengths
  • Accepting and celebrating diversity in work styles
  • Implementing flexible work practices that help employees perform at optimum levels without compromising on their personal lives.

Without the opportunity for expression, your employees will feel faceless, and without any sort of influence on how they work, leading to deep-rooted disengagement.

Create Agile Channels of Communication

Great workplace managers realize that they can’t empower or engage employees without proper, strong, agile, and effective channels of two-way communication. Whether it’s to implement a feedback or grievance redressal mechanism, or a channel to broadcast important organizational information in a non-intimidating and engaging manner, communication channel planning could be the difference between the success and failure of your employee’s engagement improvement strategy. Leading tech companies offer social media hub creation packages, such as Yammer, for corporations, helping them set up an internal social platform. Better still, consider using a feature-rich mobile app for employee communication, which broadcasts important information, shares engaging organization and industry content with employees, and lets them discuss initiatives in relevant groups.

Appreciation

Over a period of time, the ratio of positive to negative statements exchanged for a relationship to flourish is 3:1. Are your office managers appreciating your people this often? Now is the time to act; start with these tips.

  • Promote teamwork and nurture an environment where employees feel their work is meaningful and appreciated.
  • Be very transparent in performance-based rewards.
  • Think of basic, no cost or low-cost acknowledgment and appreciation mechanisms.
  • Extracting collective lessons out of an individual’s mistakes instead of blowing things out of proportion.

Incentive Programs

Did you know – studies found that productivity could be increased by 22% among individuals and 44% among teams, by providing them performance-based incentives. Most companies use such incentive programs; the problem is that the incentives fail to motivate or excite employees enough. Here are some tips to help you improve your office’s incentive program.

  • Keep it tiered; the earlier an employee achieves a milestone, likelier he/she is to aim higher.
  • Look for opportunities to offer luxury experiences to employees, instead of all-cash incentives. This ensures the employees don’t indulge in mental accounting to find alternatives of actually aiming for the incentives. Also, ensure not to commit the common mistake of overpaying or underpaying your employees.
  • Talk to your people to find out what they want, and tailor your incentive programs accordingly.

Concluding Remarks

An engaged employee is a role model for the entire team. To make sure your engaged employees enhance their influence, and disengaged ones slowly become engaged, start with the tips shared in this guide.

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