Motivation and engagement can be hard to sustain, whether in individuals or within organizations and companies as a whole. Especially when it comes to jobs, employees might face disengagement multiple ways for many reasons. Jim Haudan, CEO of Root Inc., has managed to pinpoint 6 important reasons why employees are disengaged, and they all relate to emotions: feelings of being overwhelmed, scared, confused or having a lack of understanding, a lack of ownership, a lack of reality, and a lack of the "big picture."
Here's how to tackle these 6 obstacles and improve employee engagement.
- Make tasks manageable and encourage teamwork. Employees that feel overwhelmed might feel this way because of the pressure to perform without any help. For a healthier workplace, it's important to place recognition in shared work, and to equally distribute tasks among all employees. Even in competitive workplaces, you should find ways to make collaboration a key to success.
- Be transparent, relatable, and open to opinion. Disengagement occurs when employees feel scared or threatened by management, especially if there's a fear around losing their job or certain privileges for speaking up. That's why transparency, communication, and a willingness to listen is so important in the workplace: when employees can trust you and each other, they can perform much better.
- Don't belittle questions. Confusion or a lack of understanding, especially in certain projects or ideas, can lead to employees feeling like they can't ask questions. Make it a habit to respond positively to questions, or giving space and time to those who need clarification--this can lead to less stress and improved results.
- Make every task important. Some engagement is lost when employees don't see their work as valuable, which leads them to lose the "big picture." This leads to a question of ownership as well: do your employees feel like their work contributes to the cause or mission? Do they feel a part of it, or apart from it? Recognition and demonstrating why each department or job is important can go a long way in helping employees see the big picture.
- Step down from your own pedestal. This is the hardest one, but one of the most important things to do if you want real engagement: see your office the way your employees do. If this means getting down to the warehouse or to the different departments, do it. It's important to understand the reality of every situation and environment, and respond to those circumstances. Listen to your employees, who know how things run, and consider their critiques as well. They have a good idea of what can help improve their workplaces, and taking that into account will improve everyone's job overall.
By understanding why engagement has been lost, you can gain it back among employees. For more ideas on this and related topics, visit the Performance Management and Management & Leadership sections of our blog.
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