11 Ways to Connect and Engage Employees
The mark of a great leader lies not just in managing employees but also ensuring that their employees feel engaged, motivated, and inspired to do their best. When these principles are being overlooked, it leads to loss of valuable task force, employee disengagement, poor decision-making, and increased anxiety apart from other things. If you fail to engage your employees, you may be missing out on the key benefits which can otherwise contribute towards the success of your organisation as well as your success.
This article discusses some of the ways you can connect and engage with your employees.
- Value and inspire your employees. You can achieve this by regularly scheduling one-on-one discussions with the employees, the managers, and the teams. The personal conversations can help you address the concerns of your employees directly. It is a good opportunity to reassure them that you value their contribution as well as them as individuals and that they certainly have a future with the company.
- Increase engagement via dialogue. Whenever you are facing an employee whether on a one-on-one or in a group, it is an opportunity for you to improve engagement through dialogue. You must always ask open ended questions to create a dialogue with your employees. Close ended questions give limited responses, while open ended questions encourage individuals to share their ideas and opinions. When you show genuine interest and respect to their ideas or inputs and listen to them, it displays your care and this can create a significant impact on their psyche.
- Motivate and reward your employees for a job well done. As a leader, you must be aware that the only to get things done and carry a business ahead successfully is through its employees. Hence, it is important for you to recognise, motivate, and reward employees for a job well done. A lot of managers tend to overlook this simple yet important aspect.
- Solicit feedback and suggestions. It’s very important to gather input, feedback, and suggestions from employees to understand what they care about most. Hence, you must not do all the talking and instead let your employees speak by encouraging two-way conversations.
- Set an example by being a role model. Employees always pay close attention to what their leaders say and do. Hence you must reflect upon what standards you are setting as a leader. You must strive to display the behaviour, characteristics, and actions that you wish to see in others.
- Use performance reviews as the motive to inspire. You must not undermine the significance of an annual performance review. It is not just another task on your list. If you have this mindset, then, unfortunately, you are missing out on a key opportunity to motivate and engage your employees. Use the performance reviews to ask crucial questions in order to gain a valuable insight and also to make your employees feel appreciated and valued.
- Try to connect at a personal level. Employees obviously are not keen to follow a leader who they do not know and understand, respect. Hence, one of the best ways to get your employees know you is by sharing personal stories which would help them to connect with you at a personal level.
- Have a sense of self-awareness. To connect with a leader, employees wish to know what you stand for and what you must convey. Authenticity always begins with self-awareness. Hence you should know yourself well and be comfortable sharing who you are as an individual with your employees.
- Face conflicts instead of avoiding them. It is understandable that discussing challenging topics is a difficult part of a leader’s job. Instead of avoiding conflicts, the best way to deal with them is to face them. When you have this attitude, it automatically builds trust and improves your relationship with your employees.
- Manage conversations. Most of the problems in business arise due to lack of real communication. Hence, you must understand the importance of facilitating dialogue and managing conversation with your employees. When you can manage conversations well, you will be able to create a shared meaning and push people towards action.
When you apply the above-mentioned strategies to your leadership approach, you will notice a significant difference in the way in which your employees will connect and interact with you.