Managers can significantly increase employee engagement by doing two simple things –ask 4 amazingly effective questions, and use the answers to provide support for each employee’s needs.
The economy continues to improve yet companies are not hiring. Jobs are remaining vacant much longer than in previous economic recoveries, and this has increased the demands on managers everywhere. As a result, the lack of time spent with employees continues to erode employee engagement and negatively affect succession planning. Even in lean times, this does not have to be the case. In fact, the best managers and leading organizations continue to make employee needs a priority. They do so by asking 4 specific questions and using the answers to ensure each employee’s needs are met. If you want to improve employee engagement in your organization, set aside time each quarter to interview your employees and ask these 4 amazingly effective questions.
How Do You Prefer to Be Managed?
Why is this question so important? Nearly 6 out of 10 managers were promoted to their first management role without any management training. Once promoted, they wait, on average, 10 years before receiving their first management training! The unfortunate reality is many managers are learning to manage on the job, and as a result, they don’t know how important it is to manage each person differently. By regularly asking this question, all managers benefit in two ways: managers will find out exactly how to manage each employee, and they can adapt their management approach as employees’ needs and interests change over time.
What Management Behaviors Annoy You?
This is a very powerful question because as a result of asking it, managers learn what specific behaviors they demonstrate that will lead to disengagement for each of their employees. Discussions can serve as the framework of a manager – employee agreement which can be used to avoid the majority of unnecessary conflicts while providing a tool from which to manage conflicts that will inevitably occur.
How Can I Help You Excel and Grow?
50% of the population in Indonesia is under 30, and by 2025, 75% of the world’s population will be Millennials (18 – 33 yrs old). That generation not only expects to have access to development opportunities; they demand it. The good news is, many of the emerging ways to develop employees are fairly inexpensive. Blogs, social media, podcasts, magazines and journals, books, YouTube videos, white papers, case studies, and more are extremely effective options available for employees and managers. By asking this question, managers and employees effectively create a personalized individual development plan that their employees share ownership in, and that increases levels of engagement.
How Can I Make Doing Your Job Successfully Easier?
As I mentioned in my blog article on employee retention, organizations consistently fail to effectively remove the barriers that would make jobs easier to successfully complete. Managers should ask this question and put the responses in the following 3 categories:
3. Process / Procedure
They can then prioritize the barriers by category and communicate their follow up actions that will lead to solutions. Some of my clients’ managers have developed levels of engagement so high that they have a wait list of people who’ve applied just to work for them. They achieved great reputations by simply asking this question and taking action based on the information received.
If you or your organization is experiencing high levels of voluntary turnover or you’re worried that you will in the future, adopting the practice of asking these 4 questions and taking action based on the information gathered will absolutely help to reduce the turnover. More importantly, asking the questions is an immediate and highly observable approach that will change employee opinions and improve engagement levels in as little as 2-3 months. So what are you waiting for? Start scheduling meetings today to implement a proven strategy for increasing employee engagement in your organization.
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