Finding good staff is important, but keeping your existing staff can be even more critical. Perks like flexible work hours or fun office environment only go so far. When it comes down to it, your staff are spending most of their work day working. So to keep your staff happy, you need to make sure they enjoy and are engaged with the work. If you really want to improve employee engagement, look out for these hidden warning signs:
“What should I work on next?”
An engaged employee should be able to understand what needs to be done in the firm. Your staff don’t want to interrupt their managers to find out what to work on. It’s not just disruptive and time consuming for managers, but also gets in the way of employee engagement. Give your employees a sense of autonomy by setting up a system that lets them choose appropriate projects to work on.
“Whatever happened to…?”
Many times, junior-level employees churn through work and pass it on to the next step, never to be seen again. This may make sense from an efficiency point of view, but it does nothing to improve employee engagement. When your staff has visibility into the project from beginning to end, they can better understand how their work affects the firm as a whole.
“Why do I need to change?”
Most employees want to do well, but everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully, the people you hire are a good fit for your firm’s needs. But if you really want to improve employee engagement, you may need to recognize and accommodate various types of personality traits. This doesn’t mean accepting mediocrity. Instead, you need to find ways to capitalize on strengths and mitigate weaknesses rather than fighting to change them.
“How am I doing?”
Employee engagement and accountability go hand in hand. Staff should never have to wait for an annual review to find out how well they are performing. The best way to help staff understand and improve their performance is to give them the ability to monitor their progress towards goals. Set up KPIs that measure the behavior you want to track. Make sure you aren’t inadvertently incentivizing bad behavior, though!
Making an effort to improve employee engagement will pay off in happier staff members, more effective managers, and highly satisfied clients. This is an area you can’t afford to ignore, if you want to build a thriving and prosperous firm.
To learn more about how to improve employee engagement, download the whitepaper, “Connecting the Dots: Technology, Processes, Staff Retention and Client Satisfaction.”