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6 Steps To Successful Employee Engagement In 2021

Engaged employees are productive employees.

Leigh Gillatt  •  Recruitment Articles

6 Steps To Successful Employee Engagement In 2021


When it comes to job satisfaction, financial rewards may be lower on the list than most people think. Being happy with your job seems to depend more on the intangibles: feeling part of a team and being valued and appreciated consistently outrank money when employees are polled about job satisfaction.

Many of the following steps to success may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many managers neglect to follow them. They can allow you to achieve the Holy Grail of the work place: the ability to motivate your employees to move mountains! (And they’ll be happy with their jobs while they do it.)

The 6 steps to successful employee engagement in 2021 are:

  • 1. Clearly Define Your Mission, Vision and Goals
  • 2. Get Everyone Engaged
  • 3. Provide Feedback on Performance
  • 4. Empower Your Employees
  • 5. Give Special Attention to High-Potential Employees
  • 6. Thank Them

Let's look at each of them in a little more detail...

1. Clearly Define Your Mission, Vision and Goals

To create an atmosphere of engagement, you have to first let your employees know what you believe so that they can decide if they can support it. Make sure that your vision is provided as a road-map for your employees, and that they know each twist and turn.

Employees want to find purpose and meaning in their work, and your mission and vision provide that for them.

This is especially true of the 'millennials' employees, for a lot of millenials it’s not enough to simply show up for work, perform a task, and collect their salary. They want to feel that the work they do matters, that it has some purpose beyond simply turning a profit. In addition to their own personal contributions, they want to know that the organisation they work for is committed to values and goals that they share.

Additionally, when they have a clear understanding of your goals, they know what’s expected of them. If your employees aren’t sure what you want and don’t know their own workplace goals, their engagement is likely to drop, and they're less likely feel accountable for their work.

Organisations can promote their values by becoming involved in local community outreach events or providing opportunities for employees to take part in other forms of ethical corporate activities.

2. Get Everyone Engaged

No one likes being kept in the dark. Organisations that operate under a veil of secrecy and keep employees on a strict "need to know" basis tend to struggle with low engagement and retention rates. People want to know about decisions that affect them, what is expected of them, and information that may be relevant to their work.

Decide on a way to get all of your employees engaged in planning and decision-making. That way the project becomes their baby: something they’re willing to fight for.

To do this, whenever possible, ask for input and use their ideas. This way, they have a vested interest in seeing the project succeed. This can not only empower and motivate employees, it can also lead to new and more productive ways of working that normally would be overlooked during more stable times.

Effective leaders are generally proactive communicators who encourage people to speak out and let everyone know they’re willing to listen. They make themselves as accessible as possible and don’t treat information as leverage to further their own ambitions.

3. Provide Feedback on Performance

Regularly set aside time to tell your employees what they are doing right and point out any areas for improvement. If performance is not up to par, work with them to develop ideas on how to improve. It’s important that employees feel they are supported by you and the organisation, rather than being left behind because of an occasional mistake or bad call.

It’s one thing to show support for employees through development opportunities, but such measures are only one of the ways that companies can demonstrate how they value employees. Cheering on successes and highlighting accomplishments might seem like a minor gesture, but it goes a long way toward showing employees that the work they do matters.

4. Empower Your Employees

Engaged employees have a level of autonomy. They know you trust their ideas and their work. When you empower them, you show them that you value their work as it relates to the success of your business.

When possible, try not to micromanage your employees. Give them responsibility for their own work and hold them accountable. Employees should know you respect their work, but that you do know sometimes mistakes happen.

Employees who fear failure have a hard time engaging.

5. Give special attention to high-potential employees

Even in a tough economy, high-potential employees have other opportunities. Studies have been conducted that have shown that during bad economic times, employees who are anxious about their future can negatively affect a company. The reason is simple and obvious: they are less engaged in their jobs, and they may be making plans to leave.

To keep them engaged, consider putting more resources into career development and training. Or perhaps you can give them new projects that will help the company adapt to the changing market, grow, and develop.

6. Thank Them

A sincere "THANK YOU" for a job well done can be a powerful motivator for continued success and is an essential tool for every manager. Thank your employees personally and promptly when you catch them doing something right by writing a quick thank-you email or text message, or by dropping by their office to tell them in person.

Final Thoughts

An engaged workforce is an invaluable asset for any organisation, but it’s also a very precious one. Any breach of trust could easily undermine that engagement and cause drastic decreases in productivity, profitability, and retention rates. By keeping a focus on ways to boost engagement, companies will create a positive work environment that makes people want to commit to its success both in the present and for the future.

Engaged employees care about your company. They come to work each day willing to give their job full attention.

Employees who share your mission are engaged employees.

Engaged employees are dedicated to your business’ goals and values. They see your success as their success.

As a business owner and leader, it’s up to you to create conditions that offer your employees the chance to reach their full potential. They can only do this if they are fully engaged with your company.

Take a walk in your employees’ shoes… would you be enthusiastic about working for yourself? If not, then give these 6 steps a try.