A recent employee engagement report revealed some shocking statistics. Only 32 percent of employees are engaged at work! What does a disengaged employee mean for your company? Loss of productivity is an obvious answer, but the loss of productivity goes beyond just that employee. Even the best employees can become frustrated with coworkers who don’t pull their weight, resulting in lack of productivity for your entire office! Negativity can spread like wildfire throughout the whole office. This can affect the front office staff on the phones or with customer service, the hygienists not upselling fluoride treatments, or even treatment coordinators not trying to close treatments. Engagement is a necessity for the success of your practice.
What is Employee Engagement?
But, employee engagement isn’t employee satisfaction or employee happiness, so what is it? In an article for Forbes, Kevin Kruse defines employee engagement as the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals. Kruse writes, “This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. They don’t work just for a paycheck, or just for the next promotion, but work on behalf of the organization’s goals.”
So, how can your practice create a workforce of more engaged employees? Here are a few tips recommended by the Northeast Human Resources Organization:
Many organizations do a good job at communicating from management down to their employees. However, many organizations lack an effective platform to receive feedback from employees. It’s vital that front-line managers and top management hear what employees have to say. They can shed light on problems management may be unaware of. And, they can air their grievances and let their bosses know what’s working and what’s not.
Remember, feedback is most effective when it’s immediate. When an employee goes above-and-beyond, make sure you let them know what a great job they did, and what a valuable asset they are to your organization. The same goes for reprimands as well. Employees need to know when they’ve done something wrong as quickly as possible so they can correct the problem. A few of our clients have implemented monthly meetings (along with morning huddles), monthly video updates, and even monthly, anonymous surveys.
Employees understand their role
Make sure your employees understand the goals of your organization and let them know where they fit on your road to success. Let employees know what competencies and skills will help your company grow. And, then help employees upgrade their skills to match the needs of the organization. Make further training and coaching easily available to your employees so they can stay up to date on the latest trends in your industry. Our client, Dr. Ben Johnson with Acre Wood Dental, makes continuing education courses and other training available to his whole staff. He even offers extra incentives to his staff to get certified in specific areas.
If managers are constantly changing directions and breaking promises, employees will lose trust in their leadership. Just as it’s important for employees to see the big picture, managers need to know it too. This will help them keep the trust of your employees and guarantee the success of your practice. However, it’s not just about direct managers. Studies show that employees’ trust in executives has twice the impact on engagement levels than trust in immediate managers. Top leadership needs to gain the trust of everyone in the organization in order to be successful.
When employees participate in the decision-making process, they feel more like a valuable part of the organization and become more engaged. By pushing some of the decision making down to the lowest level possible, you create employee engagement on every level of your workforce. Get your employees involved. Follow up and ask them what is working and what isn’t. Ask them if they have any ideas on how to improve processes and procedures. When they feel like they have a say in making the practice better, they will be more willing to follow through and make sure that their idea is implemented.
Key Take Away
Employee engagement starts at day one. If you don’t already have one, make sure you have a coaching program in place for new hires. An employee’s first day at an organization is a key factor in determining the level of engagement an employee will have in the years to come. Assign new employees to a current trusted employee who you feel exemplifies the values of your organization. This individual can help the new employee to navigate the confusing few first days at work and help them learn the ropes.
Another way to ensure that employees remain engaged throughout their time at your company is career coaching. Set up a formal outlet for managers to sit down with employees and discuss career growth and their future plans. This can help managers spot employees who are not the right match for certain positions and correct the problem before they leave the organization.
By taking the necessary steps toward creating engaged employees, you create happier, more productive employees who will work harder for your company, because they will genuinely care about its success.
How do you get your employees engaged at work? Tell us in the comments section below!
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