Employee engagement is one of the most powerful predictors of organizational success.  If your employees are more engaged, your organization is safer, more profitable, more productive, and provides better customer service with higher quality.  When employees care about what they do, they do it better. 

So how can you increase employee engagement?  Here are a few tips based on common problems we see in organizations.

1) Ask more questions – Many managers spend far too much time telling their employees what to do and when to do it.  Studies show that this approach causes employees to shut down their brains and disengage.  Try asking more questions.  Ask your employees what needs to be done next and what the best approach might be.  It might take them a little while to start coming up with answers, but don’t give up.  Re-engagement takes a little time.

2) Share more information – It is a common practice only to share immediately relevant information to employees that impact their jobs.  However, we encourage that you share more about the organization.  Start with the impact your organization is making.  Then dig into the key drivers to your success.  People who know WHY they do what they do, do it better.

3) Let your employees solve problems – Many employers use a suggestion box to collect information from employees about opportunities for improvements.  However, many managers then take the list and act on it themselves.  When an employee has a good idea, let them run with it.  Work with them and give them the resources they need to get it done themselves.  When employees solve a problem, even a small one, use the win to build momentum.  

4) Check in with your employees – Here is an incredible truth.  Most managers spend very little time talking with their employees beyond daily work interactions.  Good managers spend time getting to know the people that work with them.  Find out what they care about and where they want to go.  What are they worried about and excited about?  Make time to have some 1:1 time with each person on your team at least once per quarter.

5) Show appreciation – When your employees do something good, show a little appreciation.  You don’t have to throw a parade every time they pick up a piece of trash off the floor, but even a small comment can be powerful.  Be specific in your appreciation and try to do it frequently (daily!).  Start small in order to create the habit.

If you make an effort to practice these 5 tips, you will start to see your employee engagement build.