As a manager, a key aspect to keeping your employees engaged is applying your best practices consistently. It’s all too easy to get caught up in putting out fires and meeting targets, and letting this critical aspect of your job slip down the priority list. It’s also a lot of stuff to remember, and when you multiply that by the number of people who report directly to you, well . . .
Kevin Sheridan, writing for ATD, has devised a checklist of things to help ensure you stay on task when it comes to keeping your staff engaged.
- Assign a regular hour each week to recognizing outstanding employee work or results.
- Schedule a career-development discussion with each staff member during the year’s last quarter.
- During the career discussion, try to find out how the employee hopes their career will develop over the course of the next six months or year, and work together to see what you can do to help achieve them that goal.
- Regularly ask employees how they feel about their work, specifically what gets them excited about it or what they find gratifying. And ask them if there’s anything that turns them off too — it could be something about the work, their schedule, or the office environment. Sheridan’s blog has a list of questions employees can ask themselves to help them clarify how they’re feeling.
- Give employees the opportunity to share with you their nonwork interests and activities, and do your best to genuinely relate to what they find compelling. Next time you’re looking for a way to reward good work, consider a gift that relates to their interests.
- Measure the engagement of your direct reports with weekly pulse surveys to get feedback on how happy they are, and identify any problem areas before they get more difficult to address. TINYpulse Engage is a great way to do that.
- Be careful always to be clear and specific about your expectations of each employee’s performance and results.
- Don’t forget to regularly initiate some activities whose only purpose is fun. Schedule some target dates for entertaining events in your personal calendar to make sure you don’t forget to make them happen.
Keeping staff engaged is so critical to everything else you hope to accomplish that it’s something you want to make sure you don’t let slide. It’s the human side of resource management, and a great way to stay genuinely connected to your staff on a personal, human level.