Employee engagement is getting more and more attention lately. The importance of connecting the workforce to your company's productivity can't be overstated. According to a recent HR magazine article, disengaged workers costs U.S. companies an estimated $350 billion every year.
What can we do to keep employees engaged? We have to make sure that we are providing an optimal workplace environment for them to thrive. They should feel respected and comfortable to express their ideas, regardless of their role or position in the organization. Management has to be accessible and seen around the company.
Speak with employees to find out what is on their minds. Do they have ideas for improving the business, or ways to promote a better workplace? What do they want to accomplish professionally? We all have to make sure we are offering learning and development opportunities on the job, and challenges to promote growth. An anonymous survey is also a good way to find out about what's on employees' minds, but shouldn't be substituted for one-on-one face time.
We all have to make sure that we are rewarding employees and recognizing the important contributions they make day in and day out to our business. Pay particular attention to the top performers. They're an invaluable asset in driving business forward, and we certainly want to make sure they feel happy and engaged.
NANCY MOBLEY is founder and CEO of Insight Performance, a human resource consulting firm focused on emerging and mid-market companies. Clients include biotech, medical device, manufacturing, banks and technology companies. @InsightPerf