Business news is filled with various articles about companies taking employees on weekend excursions, team building camps and catering expensive get-togethers every Friday night to build employee engagement. However, many small businesses simply can’t afford those events. Lack of funds doesn’t mean you can’t stimulate meaningful engagement. There are other steps you and your management staff can take to connect with employees.
Schedule One-on-one Time With Employees
Nothing makes an employee feel more relevant at work than having a one-to-one meeting with a manager or a member of the executive team. Schedule it for when people are going to be available and make them as relaxed as possible. Good times would be during their lunch hour or close to the end of their day.
During the meeting, you can take notes of any observations you find interesting from, but don’t let the employee get the impression you are busy writing and not listening to them. Additionally it’s always better if you approach the employee with the meeting idea. This lets them know you have noticed them and their work, and you value their opinion.
Celebrate And Support An Individual Employee’s Outside Successes
Employees do have a life outside of your company with interesting hobbies and commitments. If you have an employee involved in competitive athletics or hobbies, volunteers time at a local non-profit, helps at their local school or does anything that is unique and selfless in nature, consider giving them recognition for their contribution.
Again, recognizing their time commitments for outside endeavors not only rewards them, but it also gives you a reason to have an impromptu meeting with them and solicit their opinion about the company.
Focus Performance Reviews On Strengths, Not Weaknesses
Most people associate performance reviews with negative stereotypes of pointing our errors and poor performance. However, a better approach is to focus on their strengths. Most managers understand you’re going to get more out of a person’s strengths than weaknesses, encourage them with the behavior.
This doesn’t mean you ignore errors or problems, however, spend more than 60% of the time discussing and improving the employee’s strengths.
Have A Hack Night (Or Day)
Take one night, set a fixed time, select a very specific goal, create some fun rules and have your staff work in teams to complete the goal. It can be anything from getting shipments out on time to creating new marketing material or ideas. Focused work in a fun atmosphere with some small games or fun productivity sprints will yield results and improve your employee engagement.
Assign Senior Managers As Long-term Mentors
Employees want help with their careers. However, they are often at a loss on how to improve or build their careers over the long term. Your senior managers are probably in their mid- to late careers and have a lot of helpful information. Assign employees to managers for help not only in advancing in your company but also in improving their careers overall. Your managers can help them choose the right path. This could include information about advanced training and networking possibilities.
Equal Parts Consulting is a premier HR consultancy company in the San Diego area. If you are looking for help with employee engagement, productivity, or any other HR areas, we encourage you to contact us.