Repost – HR Execs Offer 10 Methods For Diving Deep Into Employee Engagement Levels

This excerpt was from the original article on Forbes on February 15, 2023.

Whether you’re running a successful conglomerate or starting your first business, it always takes a reliable and trustworthy team to help any company meet its quarterly or annual goals. That is why it’s important to ensure that employees are on the same page as their leaders every step of the way. If not, it’s essential to find out where you are falling short in this area and how you can meet their needs and expectations more productively.

Showing your employees that you care about them and are interested in addressing any obstacles they are facing in the workplace encourages them to participate and openly share ideas about improving their current work culture environment for the better.

To share more on the most effective ways for managers to gain better insights into employee engagement—or lack of it—10 Forbes Human Resources Council members discuss other ideas leaders can try.

1. Conduct Employee Surveys Regularly

Tying employee engagement survey results to regrettable attrition trends can help managers and executives better understand which employees may be thinking about leaving the company and how the management team can create a more supportive and inclusive workplace, especially for historically underrepresented groups. – Raghu Gollamudi, Included

2. Go On An Active-Listening Tour

Every leader should frequently engage in an active-listening tour where they can also ask their employees open-ended, probing questions. Doing so signifies to the team that leaders are interested in their opinions and are excited about implementing changes that increase their engagement. Increase trust and engagement by asking for their help in creating change. When employees feel that management leaders are invested in their opinions and perspectives, they become more engaged. Alexandria Brown, The HR Hacker

3. Talk With Your Employees To Assess Their Needs

Managerial communication and interest are the foundation for insights into employee engagement. Scheduling regular employee-manager one-on-one meetings is the definitive way to understand employee engagement through multiple lenses such as employees’ expectations, employees’ needs to perform work, work product and output alignment and assessment. Leaders should also ask their employees if they are engaged in their work and feeling fulfilled and purposeful. – Courtney Berkholtz, The Ray Life

4. Demonstrate Authentic Leadership

A common pitfall new managers make is creating transactional relationships with direct reports and colleagues in which little to no personal information or experiences are shared. Employees won’t share how they truly feel if feelings and experiences have never been part of the conversation. It is possible to be authentic and professional. This creates trust and openness. – Jennie Walker, DeEtta Jones & Associates

5. Focus On Building A Strong Team Relationship

Build strong relationships with your team members. This is best done through regular feedback and open dialogue. Setting clear expectations and creating a sense of purpose are also important factors for employee engagement. Additionally, providing incentives, recognition and career growth opportunities can help create an atmosphere in which employees feel valued and motivated to perform. – Jonathan Romley, Lundi

6. Be Conscious Of Employee Behavior Patterns

Good managers pick up on signals from employee behavior patterns and a deviation can suggest to them when it’s time to take a deep dive and do some investigating. The most effective way is through anonymous surveys and one-on-one lunches. Let employees know that you hear them. – Smarthveer Sidana, HireQuotient

7. Put Away Your Biases And Be Open To Other POVs

It’s tempting to project our bias, behaviors and reactions onto others and make workplace decisions based on our experiences. However, the problem is that our employees’ needs can be different from our own. To better understand and respond to engagement opportunities, consider hosting roundtable meetings or focus groups. This can help management capture the points of view, feelings and beliefs to inform meaningful action that will build trust. – MJ Vigil, DispatchHealth

8. Guide Managers Through The Survey Data Analysis

Engagement surveys are key, but simply distributing them to managers without context can be ineffective. The sheer amount of information in reports can be daunting to someone who does not work with these reports regularly. It is up to the people team to guide managers by reviewing manager-level reports with them one-on-one and ensuring key takeaways are highlighted and focus areas are identified. – Teresa Martins, Madison Logic

9. Encourage Participation And Questions

Anonymous surveys are the first step, period. After that, invite employees to speak up in more casual forums for discussion: town hall meetings, employee resource groups, Slack channels, one-on-ones and more. Encourage participation by distributing agendas ahead of time, using moderators for challenging topics and leading with transparency. Acknowledging that an employee posed a great question here or there doesn’t hurt either. – Ursula Mead, InHerSight

10. Be Present And Supportive

Continuous listening tours can and should include employee pulse surveys, regular town halls as well as one-on-ones between managers and employees. If leaders are present and carefully listening—not waiting to talk—they will learn more about what makes their team members tick, what is meaningful to them and how they can support and fuel their engagement and connection to the team and more broadly throughout the business. – Maria MileticMaria Miletic

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