Edit ModuleShow Tags

Guess who's engaged?


Published:

After asking the Internet, I learned that ‘engaged employees’ are those staff members who feel good about the company they work for.

And ‘engaging’ them reminds ‘em to like their job without a bump in pay.

I think I get it. We renamed “happy workers” because fresh phrasing is fun. The real issue hasn’t changed with the new name though, has it?

What we’re really after is workers who care as much about the business as the owner does.

And why do we want that?

Because these engaged employees are more productive; they’re better with the customers; and they increase the bottom line.

Well, I’m not sure we’ll ever get someone as completely engaged as the owner is, but maybe we can get close.

Look first at some traits the owner has:

  • He goes the extra mile
  • He’s efficient.
  • He cares what customers think
  • He knows that time is money

Those are the traits we want our employees to have, too.

So here’s the question that all my HR heroes out there want answered: How do you engage employees?

By being human; and by teaching them what the owner knows.

Being human, that’s the leadership part. A leader makes our work-life bearable and interesting. If your company’s missing that part, look up for the answer, not down.

I really want to talk about the other bit, about teaching employees what the owner knows.

If you ask me, a lot of gurus and training programs just don’t get this part. Until Jim Bob the line worker knows WHY a good work ethic is important, and understands WHY it’s in his own best interest, there’s little point in a Monday morning all-staff morale meeting.

You see, people tend to do what makes their life easier, or somehow better.

If they think helping a customer only affords the boss a new Mercedes, they don’t see the point. But when they learn that—and you have to be prepared for this—helping the company succeed is rewarded (financially or otherwise) they’ll see the light.

But we also have to follow through on our end and reward the employees who DO help the company succeed. Maybe that’s the part that’s missing. That’s a different article for sure.

So why don’t we teach what we really want them to learn – a good work ethic?

Instead we teach specific skills: customer service, and teamwork. That’s like teaching the 7th grade girls’ basketball team how to post-up in the box. They don’t even understand the point of the game yet, so why bother teaching them a rebounding technique? It won’t matter.

Once they do understand the game, and realize that getting the ball is essential for winning, the rebounding will come naturally.

First, teach them why they should go get the ball.

If you show your employees that success at work comes from feeling ownership in their company, customer service / time management / hard work will naturally follow. They already know how to do these things, what they need is a reason to do it.

That reason – will create the employee engagement we seek.

That reason – is learning what their boss knows about success.

Teach those traits that the big boss has, and reward your staff for caring about the company. Not necessarily financially, but by caring about them back.

Now that’s employee engagement.

Edit Module
David Sneed

David Sneed is the owner of Alpine Fence Company,and the author of" Everyone Has A Boss; The Two Hour Guide to Being the Most Valuable Employee at Any Company". As a Marine, father, employee and boss, David has learned how to help others succeed. He teaches the benefits of a strong work ethic to entry and mid-level employees. Contact him at  David@EveryoneHasABoss.com

Get more of our current issue | Subscribe to the magazine | Get our Free e-newsletter

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

What leaders need to know about emotional intelligence

It’s not good enough to be smart. That may get you into a leadership role, but it is emotional intelligence (often abbreviated “EQ” or “EI”) that will allow you to succeed. As an executive, there are some things that you should know about emotional intelligence.

Should you invest in Denver's hot real estate market?

The potential rewards may make Denver real estate difficult to resist – but be cautious. At some point, supply may catch up to demand, sales may slow and values may stabilize or potentially decline. And without careful financial planning, an investor can be put into a complicated cash crunch.

Best of Colorado Business Choice 2016 lifestyle winners

Here are the Best of Colorado Business Choice 2016 winners and finalists in the lifestyle category.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Thanks for contributing to our community-- please keep your comments in good taste and appropriate for our business professional readers.

Add your comment: