Typically, the focus is on actions companies can take to foster employee engagement in the workplace. This is one side of the coin, but a healthy relationship requires a marriage of responsibilities, efforts, and behavior to have highly engaged employees in your workplace.
For a company, it starts with clarity of purpose and strategy. By connecting goals and actions bottom-to-top, employees know what they’re working towards achieving. An intranet is a support tool to communicate these, through company news, blogging, goal setting, celebration events & posts, employee recognition, job opportunity, promotion, and milestones. The biggest responsibility is first and foremost in hiring the right people, then providing encouragement, ownership, and allowing learning through success and failure.
How about from the employee side? Here are five ways to foster employee engagement.
Being self-aware is extremely important, and understanding how you can best benefit those around you. There are many free or cheap assessment tools like StrengthsFinder, True Colors, and of course your education and work experience. Look for opportunities in the workplace where your skill sets match well. Ideally, you want to highlight these on your employee profile and showcase how you’ve used them.
In his book, ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People‘ author Stephen Covey discusses the importance of mutually beneficial relationships. When you win in work, it’s likely because you’ve had tremendous support from those around you. Show gratitude through small actions, public recognition, or little thank yous to all those that help in your success. Publish virtual “High 5s” to your intranet to teammates for group accomplishments.
Sometimes, gaps or problems exist where no clear owner is established. Recognize these opportunities to take charge and turn negative situations into improvements. On the flip side, you can find you just don’t have time for high-value work you’d like to, and it’s a sign you probably need to give up some responsibilities to capable members who can expand their knowledge and learning by taking a few things off your plate.
It’s ok to be a bit anxious about whether you’re doing a good job or not, or if you’re on top of your game. Technologies, methodology, and markets shift quickly. No matter where you are in your career, the best way to grow is by putting yourself in situations that force you to try new things. You want to look for challenges you’re unsure of, ones that are exciting, and align to your capabilities. It’s possible it might not work out, but you won’t know until you try and you might just uncover something totally unexpected.
The most engaged employees are always seeking continuous improvement. Take advantage of in-house training, shadow top coworkers, watch recordings, and read resources on the business, and customers. Good companies will support training, but don’t just see this as an avenue to shore up your own knowledge, capture key takeaways and documentation, then publish and share with your team. The true indication of success is when you’ve distilled information to a level others gain great benefit and shift the way the organization operates as a whole.
Be an Intrapreneur
For sure, the employer environment and culture will affect your ability to maximize your efforts in these five areas. No matter what though, if you focus in these ways, you can be your own mini-CEO, by being ambitious, curious, and unaccepting of the status quo.