where to start with employee engagement.

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There are so many touch points within your daily operations potentially having an impact on employee engagement — from onboarding processes to how individual managers interact with staff — so getting an accurate read on employee engagement, and implementing steps to change course, might seem overwhelming. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to diagnose, and begin to get out ahead of, issues related to employee engagement.

make sure you're listening to your people

Disengagement doesn't happen overnight. It's a process that happens over time, and it often begins with a failure to communicate. After all, it stands to reason that employees who feel that their opinions and input matter are more likely to be satisfied at work. And yet, a Randstad survey on employee engagement showed that, while nearly every manager said that they value employees’ opinions, a significantly fewer percentage of employees said they feel that their feedback actually matters to their bosses. And once the circuitry of feedback between employees and managers breaks down, issues around engagement tend to become entrenched and worsen over time.

Offering your staff the opportunity to provide feedback through regular "town hall" meetings can go far in helping employees feel heard — especially if you follow up on what they tell you. And for today's younger professionals, regular feedback is especially critical. In fact, among millennials and Gen Zers, 51 percent of respondents to a Randstad study said "listening to and valuing their ideas and opinions" is key for managers who want to encourage them to their best work. A further 46 percent said mentoring and regular, quality feedback will help them perform their their best. 

You may also consider sending out quarterly surveys that can be submitted anonymously. Offer your employees — no matter their generation — avenues to share, and prove that you're listening. 

recap your conversations 

Weekly or monthly performance reviews are a great way to hear from employees and check in on an ongoing basis. But for these reviews to hold value for both parties, you actually have to listen — and, whenever appropriate, take action based on what you hear. Otherwise, employees are likely to disengage, as they cease to feel these conversations are actually tied to outcomes. 

To demonstrate that these conversations are impactful, it's a good idea to begin each review by revisiting and following up on issues discussed in previous reviews. That way, your employees will feel like their voices are being heard. You can also reset priorities and expectations based on changing business goals to make sure you're getting the most value from your people. Now, that's a win-win.

provide a clear path to promotion

Most professionals want to do their best work, but if there's no clear path to promotion or greater rewards, like a higher salary, additional responsibilities or new skills, they're going to lose their motivation pretty quickly. After all, why should they turn up and give 100 percent every day if it's not clear that doing so will get them somewhere? 

To avoid this, make sure every team member has a clear career path.  Make it obvious that there are steps they can take to climb the ladder, move to a new team or learn new skills, and set realistic expectations for when they should expect to be considered for a promotion. This will keep them motivated and will reduce the kind of frustration and resentment that lead to turnover.  

employee engagement best practices

Beyond changing the way you communicate, introducing new policies and practices can also have a measurable impact when it comes to employee engagement. But which policies and practices are right for your organization? And how should you go about implementing them? Randstad has all the tips, strategies and best practices you need to help you drive your business forward.

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