Employee engagement is not just for worldwide corporations. It’s becoming a necessity for business success and a way to get a competitive advantage in a changeable economy and job market. If your employees are not actively engaged, emotionally committed to and excited about working for your company, they are costing you money and losing you opportunities, and you need to implement some employee engagement ideas.

The Dale Carnegie Training White Paper “What Drives Employee Engagement and Why It Matters” shows that less than 45 percent of employees are fully engaged. A recent Gallup study shows that managers are the types of employees who are most engaged at work.

There’s an urgent need for employee engagement ideas and engaging work environments in business today. Here are a few things you can do right now to develop employee engagement in your company.

It Has to Be Top Down

Engagement requires trust and respect to work. If your top executive team is prone to deception, dubious business dealings, and using employees as pawns, your managers aren’t going to be able to develop employee engagement ideas. Employee engagement has to start at the top with the CEO and executives. You need a transparent corporate culture with open communication and executives who believe in and work hard to promote employee engagement ideas.

Make Managers Accountable

The Dale Carnegie Training White Paper about employee engagement explains that the relationship with an immediate manager/supervisor and their employees is the top key employee engagement driver. And it’s not the only research that points to this. When implementing employee engagement ideas, managers are already one of the most engaged types of workers and they should be held accountable to drive engagement by reporting results on engagement actions they take. It should be included as a weighted factor in performance evaluations.

Recruit, Promote, and Develop for Engagement

When you’re creating an engaging work environment and need to develop employee engagement ideas, you can’t leave it up to just one person or to your HR department. You need to make it viral throughout your organization. Do that by hiring managers who have experience building and sustaining employee engagement and engaging work environments, making employee engagement activities a requirement for promotion, and including engagement in management learning along with other management training.

Implement Engagement Action Plans

Create support and development for chronic underperformers with engagement action plans with consequences for non-compliance such as moving them to non-supervisory roles or moving them out of the company. This protects the integrity of your existing employee engagement efforts and serves as a model for engagement expectations.

Remove Barriers to Engagement

Just as operations managers remove barriers to productivity and efficiency, you need to remove barriers to engagement. Employee engagement surveys, continuous engagement support and promotion, and open dialog between employees and managers must take place to remove things like lack of trust and poor communication that prevent true engagement and engaging work environments.

Use Engagement Questions

Use these questions, and questions like these, to demonstrate commitment to engagement:

* How can I help right now?

* What else do you need from me to move this forward?

* Is there someone I can introduce you to to help you make this happen?

* When can we get together to revisit this again when it’s further along?

* Who else can we include?

* What other information do you need?

* What else would be helpful in this situation?

Employee engagement ideas don’t spontaneously occur, and they don’t happen in a vacuum. It takes the specific activities and focus of everyone throughout the organization to create an environment where employees feel their managers care about and listen to them, and where managers are expected to drive employee engagement as a key part of their evaluated performance.

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