Employee Engagement: The Continuing Hot Topic For Organisational Growth
Employee engagement is a hot-topic across the global workforce. Globally up to 80% of our staff are only passively engaged to actively dis-engaged according to Kim Seeling-Smith a leader in the field of employee engagement. Consequently this is a hot topic on most management and leadership blogs with the majority of the available advice targeted at managers who want to boost engagement in their team. Good news, yet this advice often misses the starting piece of the puzzle; you.
First steps: How are you communicating your engagement
So let’s start there.
How can managers be expected to genuinely boost employee engagement levels if they aren’t engaged themselves?
After all, employee engagement is about how people feel about their jobs, rather than how good their job/salary/perks are on paper. Because engagement is about our attitude towards our jobs, it’s vital that the person who is trying to bolster engagement in others has a good attitude themselves and is engaged in their own role and how that contributes to the organisations vision.
A team will always pick up on a manager who doesn’t seem that interested, or who doesn’t appear to really love their job. They’re just ‘going through the motions’—and everyone knows it. In turn, this de-motivates the team and makes it difficult for any employee engagement initiatives to gain ground. An unengaged manager will very often create an unengaged team.
Conversely, an engaged manager will boost productivity, creativity, and ultimately profitability- as well as being the ultimate role model necessary to boost engagement levels across their whole team.
Because a construction manager needs to bring together a varied team of workers and contractors to get a project done, it’s incredibly important that they are visibly engaged and set the right tone for everyone else.
How to start getting your management team engaged
There are three levels of employee engagement, whether that is your staff members or first line managers: Engaged, unengaged, and disengaged. Which category do you experience the most in your organisation?
1. Engaged: the enthusiastic employee or manager who puts in maximum effort, generally without being pushed or performance managed
2. Unengaged: Just does what is required in exchange for a pay check
3. Disengaged: Actively dislikes their job and can even prove toxic in the workplace. Often called the mood hoover. Look out for words like; “they want it done this way “yes but”, is this ringing any bells?
Engagement takes work and is based on your culture and how this is communicated and ‘lived’ in your workforce. Ironically there are a number of simple strategies that when they are implemented consistently will shift your organisations engagement dial.
How to boost engagement in your management team
1. Ensure salary and benefits are pegged at or above industry benchmarks. This is a basic starting point that can ensure that your team don’t feel undervalued.
As a specialist recruiter in the sector we can help with the data on this.
2. Make an effort to praise your construction team and acknowledge their good work, including your managers. All too often feedback is given in the wrong context. Data from the business coaching world recognises two types of feedback; motivational and developmental and for maximum impact development needs to out way developmental.
3. Give support. Being a manager is stressful, so it’s vital that senior managers deliver tangible and structured support, whether that’s encouragement and advice in the face of budget overruns or contractor issues, or supplying better project management software and equipment.
4. Deliver training and development. This should be part of all your managers and employees ongoing development. Managing teams in a motivational way to improve performance is a skill that needs development. There are literally hundreds of excellent management and team trainers who can help in this area.
5. Create a feedback loop. Mutual feedback between managers and senior management is an important factor in making team management team members feel that they are being heard and understood. Culture temperature checks are vital and should be performed regularly.
6. Consider allowing your mangers more autonomy. If a manager is feeling they are being micromanaged by their own manager they may feel disgruntled or that their effort isn’t recognised. A micromanagement culture is the fastest way to create dis engagement in the workplace and a slowing down in productivity which is the exact opposite of what individuals think micromanaging will get them. Instead build a strong culture with managers who are well trained.