Employee Engagement:
How to Create anongoingwith your Team

Engaging with your team is one of the most important activities you perform as a manager.  Understandably, many employees are nervous during these tough economic times about not just their job, but their financial situation at home.  Your employees could be more stressed than normal, and they need to know that they are an important part of your company and department. 

In a recent survey, we found that over 50% of the respondents listed “Engagement – Morale or Attitude” as the attribute most affected by the market conditions, with “Productivity” coming in second at 21%.  People’s stress levels are naturally elevated by things they’re hearing in the news and their 401K statements.  This personal stress can affect productivity in the workplace, but engaging with your employees can help reduce their stress by emphasizing their value to you and your company.

Developing a Communication Routine

Employees find a sense of security in regular routines. And communication is no exception.  Scheduling regular, face-to-face meetings provides an opportunity for you to interface with your employees and maintain your visibility.  Use these meetings, whether weekly, monthly, or whatever frequency works for you to keep your employees informed.  Maintain ongoing communication with all of your employees, even if it’s a short hallway conversation.  Be visible and accessible to your employees, and above all, be candid about the company’s economic situation.

Matt Prue, a plant manager for a national roofing manufacturer, has created a monthly meeting for all of his plant staff.  Before these meetings were convened, “people didn’t always know what the company or plant goals were, or their personal role in achieving those goals.”  These monthly meetings give him the opportunity to review the state of each goal with the plant staff, so everyone receives the same information.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Your employees want you to be honest and up front with them about the state of the company and their group in particular.  Be available to your employees and be ready to answer some potentially tough questions.  A division manager at a global consumer product company believes that open lines of communication between employees and managers helps employees to trust the company, and consistency in message helps to cultivate that trust.  She and other managers in her organization are making an effort to increase their face-to-face time with their subordinates to emphasize the value those employees provide to the company.  Her company culture encourages and expects managers to be regularly interacting with their personnel, rather than remaining closed off.

Matt Prue, the roofing plant manager, has made a concerted effort to remove the “blame game” that can occur between departments or shifts in his plant.  By creating open communication between management and plant staff, he has encouraged his staff to focus on solving problems and suggesting ideas, rather than blaming others and ignoring the problem.  Matt has seen a significant improvement in morale in his plant staff since changing the communication and management approach in his plant.

Get out of the office and create a two-way conversation with your employees.  Be upfront  with them about the company, upcoming projects, and how they benefit the company.  Let them tell you about what they’re worked on and what they’re stressed about.  Developing a routine helps develop trust. And developing trust helps to develop loyalty.


Copyright 2009   Compass Consulting Group    www.360compass.com