“An organisation can create the playground, as I would call it. And your employees decide or choose if they want to engage. And therein lies the crux and the misalignment on employee engagement.”

Hi there and welcome. It’s Kerstin Jatho here, a transformational coach who shifts people from languishing to flourishing. In this video I want to talk to you about how to increase engagement in the workplace.

Employee engagement has been a topic that has been around for over 30 years. However, it has only really taken more momentum in the last 10 years.

It’s a very complicated topic. Alone, if you look at the definitions, you will see that there are over 12 different definitions. So, can you imagine employees and organisations not meeting eye to eye on this. Gallup says that 37% of people are engaged in the USA. Worldwide the statistics are even worse. It’s 15%.

For organisations. engagement is priceless. Why? Because people perform more, they produce more, and it increases their bottom line. But doesn’t therein already lie the challenge, because organisations seem to have a huge benefit from employee engagement and how does the employee benefit if they actually engage? Most often, they will work harder, longer, for the same salary, and even perhaps go into burnout.

So, the question is why would they want to? Engagement is a choice. An organisation can create the playground as I would call it. And your employees decide or choose if they want to engage. And therein lies the crux and the misalignment on employee engagement. We need to interlink it, that both the employee and their employer actually have a win-win situation.

So, how do we do that?

1. Engagement is a culture behaviour

The first one is employee engagement needs to become part of your long-term culture. It is something that is so much a part of your organisation, it’s underpinned by your vision statement, your goals, and your objectives. It’s not something you’d drive for short-term goals, or now and again, but it really is part of your culture.

2. Participation must be a safe space

The second one is help your employees understand that the playground is a safe space for them, that they can actually bring all of themselves there, their personality, their thoughts, their feelings, and their ideas at no risk, which is absolutely critical.

3. Overcommunicate

The third one to increase engagement is to double up. But I really mean double up. Open communication! Open communication, and generally communication remains one of the biggest stumbling blocks in organisations. And if you want to increase engagement, you must go to the level of over-communicating with your employees. But it needs to be positive, exciting, vibrant communication. So, the language really matters that you use in all of your conversations and media and connecting with your employees.

4. Celebrate team success

The fourth one which is so simple and, again, so overlooked is acknowledge your employees, say thank you to them, recognise them, and celebrate successes. Very often, we don’t celebrate successes in organisations. We finish a project. We run off to the next one, and maybe we even have two-minute high fives, but that’s it.

If you really want to increase employee engagement, you need to take a breath and celebrate them, debrief them, and make the people who contributed to the success of the company feel immensely special.

The fifth one is if you want to increase employee engagement, again, as a leader, you need to become extremely visible to your team and approachable to your team, which means you need to check in with them. You need to show up all the time. You need to be there for them. You need to be their role model, their cheerleader, and their sponsor. I know that there’s a lot to ask for, but it’s those five things that will really increase long-term engagement, and within time your employees will come and play on the playground.

Over to you for sharing your comments and experiences.

What engagement techniques have you used that made a positive difference?

About the Author: Kerstin Jatho

Kerstin is the senior transformational coach and team development facilitator for 4Seeds Consulting. She is also the author of Growing Butterfly Wings, a book on applying positive psychology principles during a lengthy recovery. Her passion is to develop people-centred organisations where people thrive and achieve their potential in the workplace. You can find Kerstin on LinkedIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook.

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