In managing employees “engagement” is important to the success of the company. Even though the term is being bounced around freely, the truth is it’s a powerful way to manage teams. What does “engagement” mean? Employees that are fully present to the success of the company produce results. Managers can keep the employees busy, though it doesn’t mean they are engaged. So how do you get an employee fully present?
For an employee to be engaged, they need to be part of the decision making process. Yes, initially it is absorbs alot of your time, though when a manager embraces employees’ contributions in the decision making process, they are more involved and hence more invested in the results.
In HR we say the first 45 days of a new hire is critical as they have enough time to access their manager, people they work with and the company. In this period an employee’s engagement is either captured or they are starting to disengage. Onboarding process is important not only by the company but also the manager have their own process to include and train a new hire. Talent is expensive to find and when you do hire someone, you want all they have to offer.
Interesting post “Changing The Way Management Thinks” by Jay Deragon on Relationship-Economy.com.
When people get promoted to a management position they automatically think it means they now manage over people. Managing over people implies those below are less capable than those above. As a result employees ( those below) are rarely engaged in decisions making processes rather they are simply told what to do by those above (Management).
If you are switching from a “management knows all” to “employee engagement,” you need to train. Employees don’t just jump up with glee and start contributing in the decision making process. They don’t know how because they have been trained not to think. I’m exaggerating here because managers are not all one way, yet what is the culture of your company? Do you embrace employee’s contribution, are there practices in place that support this belief and do you, as their manager, feel comfortable letting employees be part of the decision making process.
Employee buy in is great for any manager because they will perform because they want to now. Start small on less significant decisions, train yourself and your team members to brainstorm together:
- set time aside each week to brainstorm,
- encourage all ideas and
- explain that everyone is to respect all ideas…no matter what. One idea expressed could stimulate another person’s idea and that could be the winning one.
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