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3 strategies for engaging your workforce now

If your workers aren’t particularly engaged at their jobs, your organisation isn’t alone.

According to Gallup’s seminal State of the Global Workplace report*, only 13 per cent of employees around the world are actively engaged, with Australia and New Zealand faring only slightly better than the average. In these countries, 24 per cent of the workforce is motivated, invested and loyal to their companies, while a full 16 per cent are “actively disengaged” and the remainder are passive.

The extent to which your workforce is engaged has serious implications for your business performance. Inspiring greater investment and passion for work can lead to better customer service, lower absenteeism, reduced turnover and, ultimately, a stronger bottom line.

Here are a few strategies that can help motivate your workers and kindle greater investment in their careers:

1. Empower your leadership 

In a separate report, Gallup** estimated that managers were responsible for about 70 per cent of the difference in engagement levels across organisations.

Often, leaders are promoted because they’re excellent at their jobs, but they don’t necessarily have training in managerial skills. Offering professional development opportunities as well as giving them tools for tracking their team members’ performance could help them become stronger leaders.

2. Start strong with recruitment and onboarding  

Each worker’s experience with his or her employer starts at the very beginning: the recruitment and onboarding process.

For that reason, the way HR professionals communicate with candidates and new hires will form an important first impression. Additionally, comprehensive employee induction and training processes will give workers the tools they need to excel and better integrate them into the fabric of the company.

3. Communicate clearly and frequently

According to US-based management consultancy Hays Group***, almost half (43 per cent) of employees don’t think their supervisors communicate with them effectively. Discussing performance, goals, challenges and strategies openly and honestly with staff members is a key pillar for improving engagement.

Iron out bottlenecks in your communication strategies and consider ways to create open dialogue between HR, managers and employees. With everyone on the same page, teams are more likely to be able to make a concerted effort to achieve goals.

*Gallup, “State of the Global Workplace”.

**Gallup, “Managers Account for 70 per cent of Variance in Employee Engagement”.

***Hays Group, “Engaging hearts and minds: Preparing for a changing world”.

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