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‘Employee engagement’ refers to the alignment of an organisation’s employees with the company’s overall goals and objectives. Employees who are committed to and engaged with the organisation work to provide decisive competitive advantages – including improved productivity and lower attrition.

Here is how you can engage your employees:

  • Respect is the first step when inculcating an employee engagement culture within an organisation. Respect employees by acknowledging them; make it a point to be pleasant, listen to what they have to say, make direct eye contact during dialogue and be polite and courteous. ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ are powerful words – use them. 
  • Appreciate your employees; this will encourage them to perform better. Remember these simple rules of appreciation: do not delay your appreciation, the sooner praise is given the greater its impact; be specific when you praise someone, so the employee understands what it is that s/he is being appreciated for and laud good work publicly – it makes employees feel good and encourages them to do even better.
  • Provide feedback that is specific and constructive, as well as performance pointers and corrective guidance.
  • Communicate with employees and keep them fully informed about the company, the business and especially their work and job security. Engaged employees should feel and be aware of all that is happening around them; this affects their work. 
  • Engage by Wandering Around (EBWA) is the new management style. It literally means managers should stroll around the office, communicate with employees, ask questions and listen to them. Showing genuine interest in people makes them feel valued and raises their self-esteem; it also increases their productivity and work satisfaction.  
  • Encourage creativity; when someone comes to you with an idea, encourage them to apply it on a small level, no matter what you might think initially. Encouraging creativity at work and making employees a part of improvements gives them a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

– Samir Dawoodani

The writer is an organisational development and training manager at an HR consulting firm. samir.dawoodani@primehr.com.pk

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on August 26, 2012