Would you say your employees are engaged at work? Let’s hope so. According to the Harvard Business Review, engaged employees are 22% more productive than their more forlorn peers.
Believe it or not, your management style or your policies may be working against employee engagement — even if it’s not your intention. If you find yourself guilty of any of the following, you’ll have to make some changes to improve engagement:
1. You neglect work-life balance
Work is important. But so are family, friends, hobbies, and health. Managers who expect their employees to be constantly available are sure to draw the ire of their workforce. So long as they’re doing their jobs well, let your employees work however they work best. Whether that means flexible schedules or remote working opportunities is up to you.
2. You refuse to listen
Your employees are full of great ideas. Regularly solicit them — and act on the best ones. Otherwise, your staff will feel ignored and undervalued.
3. You don’t trust your team
Always take your workers at their word — unless, of course, you have any reason not to. You’ll frustrate your staff if you automatically assuming everyone is lying.
4. You micromanage to an excruciating level
You hired your employees to do a job. Let them do it. Professionals are perfectly capable on their own. They don’t need someone looking over their shoulder every three seconds.
5. You take credit for successes
Leaders who inspire engagement understand that victories are to be shared by the whole team. It gets old fast when a boss is quick to take praise.
6. You never recognize your workers
Be sure to compliment your employees on a job well done. Encourage your workers, and they’ll work harder.
7. You only discuss mistakes and failures
Some bosses are quick to comment on failures, telling everyone what they did wrong. It’s discouraging, to say the least. To keep your team motivated, bring positivity to the table often.
8. You keep employees in the dark
Our jobs take up huge chunks of our lives. Workers pour their hearts and souls into what they do. If huge changes are coming, let your staff know as soon as you can. Don’t blindside them with major news.
9. You hold a million meetings
If you feel the need to hold four meetings a day to discuss progress, when do you expect your employees will have the chance to actually produce? Meetings are certainly necessary from time to time. But too many can be overkill, exhausting your employees.
10. You treat everyone differently
Human nature tells us that every boss has their favorites. That doesn’t mean you need to as well (you can always keep it to yourself). When managers treat employees differently, holding them to different standards, the rest of the team notices. That’s how grudges are born.
11. You don’t respect boundaries
This isn’t college anymore. Employees don’t like it when their bosses tell crude or inappropriate jokes. It’s okay to be friendly. But never cross the line.
As a manager, you have the ability to create an environment that produces engaged employees. Make work a place that folks want to be. Make your company an organization where people work as hard as they can because they believe in the mission. The power is in your hands.
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