employee engagementEmployee engagement may sound like an optional concern. A back burner issue. If leaders truly want a successful and satisfied workforce, however, then they need to start paying attention. According to Gallup research, 91 percent of employees have left their company to change positions, and 35 percent of employees have done so in the past three years. That is a significant amount of employee turnover.

Turnover is a budget drain.  With the cost of onboarding and training, leaders and their boards of directors would be wise to pay better attention to the bottom line.

What do employees want? Employees want to be in positions that allow them to pursue their passions and grow. They also look for companies with competent leadership, strong brands and a focus on work-life balance. If they aren’t finding these things in their current organizations, then they are fine with looking elsewhere to get it. To keep talented employees in your organization, consider a top-down approach.

Team building strategies for employee engagement

When leaders engage team building strategies better employee engagement can be an outcome. But team building must be focused and provide real work outcome improvements. The ultimate benefit is that when team members are more engaged in their positions they are also more committed to their companies.

Start at the top.

Team member engagement starts at the very top with the CEO. Engagement CEOs are involved in their company cultures, and they play a large role in the success of the company. Engagement CEOs also possess a number of traits, characteristics and values that help them lead to success. These include:

  • Personally taking ownership for the company’s culture.
  • Investing in continuous training for themselves and others.
  • Praising employees regularly.
  • Creating plans for the long-term success of the company, rather than short-term gains.
  • Placing value on transparency and honesty through all levels of the organization.
  • Embracing a culture of respect and showing respect to all employees on all levels.
  • Leading by example.

This research tandems with the TIGERS Success Series marketing findings that the culture approach must be from CEOs rather than HR. To accomplish this, CEOs can track the progress of their engagement change efforts  through improved company-wide behavior using the TIGERS Team Behavior Profile, which utilizes three surveys that are conducted over the course of 18 months or more to track progress and change within the organization. This enables CEOs and HR, along with their managers, to track the effectiveness of team and employee interventions that are implemented between the survey comparisons. This strategy also allows leaders to determine their ROI based on how their balance sheet is improving with the increased engagement from their efforts.

Build a great brand.

According to Gallup research, your best employees are interested in fair compensation and the company’s brand/reputation. Everyone in the organization plays a role in the company’s brand. The CEO, however, really sets the tone for building a great place to work.

The company’s values should be evident by how leaders treat employees, how employees treat one another and how team members interact with their clients. Aside from the company simply stating their values, these values should be demonstrated through every aspect of the business.

To build a great brand, leaders need to set the stage for everyone else and implement strategies and practices that align with the desired environment. This reputation links to the company’s strength of its identity, which attracts and retains top talent, as well as a loyal client base.

Focus on a great work-life balance.

Employee work-life balance is no longer just a dream. It is more than a perk. It is now a retention issues that employees expect when they apply for positions.  Talented job seekers place value on both their personal and professional well-being. They are unwilling to sacrifice one for the other.

For many, work-life balance is represented through workplace flexibility regarding hours in the office. Many employees, 51 percent in fact, say that they would consider switching jobs if the new position allowed for flextime. Employees understand that their quality and quantity of work shouldn’t suffer because of flexible hours. As a result, employers should take this into consideration when deciding what benefits to offer. The ability to leave early one day a week or to telecommute sometimes are major benefits that many employees are looking for. If you need their talent in your organization, then it is advantageous for you to offer these perks to keep employees satisfied in their positions.

Employee engagement is one of the most important aspects for a company’s success. CEOs must take note if they want to keep employees satisfied and in their positions. The role is too large for HR. Some team building strategies that leaders can implement for better employee engagement include:

  • Starting at the top and engaging all levels of leadership from the CEO down;
  • Building a great brand by focusing on your company’s values; and,
  • Focusing on creating the opportunity for a great work-life balance for your employees.

With these strategies, leaders can improve their own engagement levels, as well as those of their employees.

Care to dig deeper into this conversation?

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Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton

Dianne Crampton is the founder of TIGERS Success Series, Inc. She is also the author of TIGERS Among Us – Winning Business Team Cultures and Why They Thrive (Three Creeks, 2010).

Crampton specializes in developing high performance work cultures. Scaled to grow as your organization and leadership performance grows, TIGERS proprietary Team Behavior Profile,   Management training workshops, and online micro training packages are based on the six principles she found to be the right mix to make this happen.

The TIGERS 6 Principles are Trust, Interdependence, Genuineness, Empathy, Risk and Success. Born from our many years of business, psychology, and educational group dynamic research, and subsequent four years of independent evaluation, we instill and sustain behaviors that improve work group performance and talent retention for measurable ROI.

For more information or to request a presentation to your group or association,  call 1+877-538-2822. To subscribe to the TIGERS complimentary newsletter, click here.