What is employee engagement?
Engaged employees can be involved in the business and actively seek out new opportunities to improve themselves and their company. Engaged employees can also be happier and therefore motivated to push beyond the status quo and succeed. We realize that everyone may have a different understanding of engaged employees, regardless, engagement does not occur on its own. Therefore, just thinking about the topic and how you can make improvements, shows signs of enlightenment as a leader.
A high performer may already appear to be engaged. They complete their work on time and within budget. The employee appears positive and upbeat and is always willing to go the extra mile. The trick with the high performers is to figure out how to keep them engaged and how to create an environment where their commitment and level of hard work is sustainable.
How do we engage the talent that we know we want?
Human Resources professionals have long recommended involving the employee in the design process of the solution if you want the employee to improve upon a behavior. Employee engagement is very similar. Employees who feel involved in the company and have an opportunity to share their ideas are more likely to participate in team activities and answer the call of duty when a last minute project needs to be completed.
How do we engage the talent we don’t yet realize we have?
Employee engagement is about teamwork. It is about the employee feeling as though they are valued as a team member, thereby making the employee want to be part of the team themselves. It is about finding the intrinsic motivation that makes the employee not only want to come to work, but want to continue to work for the company who has already recognized their potential and now wants to invest in their future. Our clients will ask, “What do we do when the employee appears to reject the opportunity presented for engagement?” My recommendation: find a new opportunity! Try connecting with the employee over lunch to discover what interests them both professionally and personally. Employees who feel connected to their company and co-workers are more likely to take a risk by accepting a task that pushes their skill set beyond their comfort zone. The employee may just need the extra push to recognize that this risk may result in a newfound talent and sense of confidence.