In a recent Forbes article, members of the Forbes Coaches Council shared strategies for improving employee engagement. As most of you know, I’m a fan of the three to five rule, so here are three ideas of the 13 which I think would have the most impact in your business.
Establish a culture of trust. Executive Coach Jennifer Musselman believes that trust has a domino effect. “The CEO must acknowledge shortcomings and commit to changing the culture publicly. Outside consultants are critical for individuals to speak openly about problems without risk of getting fired.”
Encourage open and safe conversations. Conduct forums that encourage employees to be open – and feel safe – talking about work situations and career development. Listen and hear what is being said. Katrina Brittingham of VentureReady LLC, reminds us, “Your employees are your internal customers. You will lose valuable talent and knowledge if you don’t listen, and come up with a plan that addresses employee pain points.”
Act on feedback. To Brittingham’s point, you must act on the feedback. “Instead of getting defensive about what the results are saying, commit to action. Make significant changes, not just tending to the low-hanging fruit. Feedback is a gift; accept it,” says Kathy Lockwood at Blue Water Leadership Coaching.
WHAT CAN I DO? All three of these strategies focus on open, honest, and transparent communication. Every organization in the world – no matter how big or small – needs a communications professional, as this person can counsel the CEO on their communication style and words, create and lead employee focus groups, and ensure leaders act on employee feedback. If you don’t have one, start the conversation about this in your workplace. Your employees, customers, and shareholders will thank you.