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Recognition in The Real World
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5 Things Engaged Employees Need

Posted By Kathie Pugaczewski CRP, RPI, Monday, February 3, 2020

5 Things Engaged Employees Need

RPI is at the forefront of employee engagement practices through recognition strategy based on the 7 RPI Best Practice Standards® The RPI Best Practice Standards® are based on knowledge gained from academic literature, professional conferences, and shared experiences in developing successful recognition programs. They are designed to be useful for the creation and evaluation of recognition programs in the public and private sectors, large and small organizations, and organizations with single or multiple locations or functions.

Standard 1 is Recognition Strategy and Standard 2: Management Responsibility. Both are crucial when trying to increase engagement. Below are ways you can recognize your employees by ensuring they have what they need to be engaged.

1.      Coaching

Ken Royal, a contributor for Gallup said, “coaches individualize, and bosses generalize.” Coaching, rather than managing, promotes growth and positivity in employees.

·       According to Gallup, 70% of a team’s level of engagement is a result of the manager.

·       When a manager acts as a coach, they ask questions such as “do you know what you are expected to do with this project?” or “how can I help you succeed?” rather than “why isn’t this done yet?”

·       A good football coach knows each players’ strengths and weaknesses on the field and will position them to utilize their strengths while also nurturing their weaknesses. This is a great practice to use in the workplace. Put your employees on projects you know they will be good at but help them grow in areas they may be lacking.

·       Putting a focus on coaching rather than managing helps your team develop and grow while also feeling respected and valued.

2.      Culture

Having a well-developed company culture is key to developing and sustaining employee engagement.

·       Michael O’Malley, author of Organizations For People explains that the most important attribute of company culture is that it creates institutionalized standards for respect. He explains that, when there is a set culture of respect, employees are less likely to show up late to a meeting and they are more willing to help each other.

·       O’Malley also says that a company can continue this respect by being transparent with their employees. This brings employees into the loop and allows them to feel part of the larger company culture.

·       Team building events have always been a great way to develop company culture, but they are especially important now that many companies have more flexibility work options. Scheduling company outings, or even having regular team meetings can bring employees back together to sustain the culture you have built.

3.      Flexibility

Gallup’s engagement research found that employees were more likely to be productive and engaged when they were allowed flexible work environments.

·       A study from the American Sociological Association found that employees who are allowed job flexibility (such as working at home) had greater job satisfaction, less burnout, and less stress compared to those from the same company who were not allowed flexibility.

·       Humanity, a workplace scheduling software explained in a blog post that employees feel more support from their bosses when they are trusted with flexible options. It gives them time to help with family or simply work in a more comfortable environment.

·       A survey by Deloitte found that 11% of millennials look for flexibility as their top priority in a job. Flexibility is becoming what people expect.

4.      Career Development

Engaged employees want to know that they are growing as a professional. Managers can make their employees feel valued and more engaged by helping them develop professionally.

·       According to Fast Company, professionals are being told they should switch jobs every three years to maximize development. Now more than ever, employees are looking for growth. Asking questions such as “where would you like to be at this time next year?” can show you care about their careers.

·       Bamboo HR suggests having a set succession plan to show your employees that there are opportunities to advance in your company. Do you promote employees or choose outside hires? What is the process if an employee wants to switch departments? These are all great questions to think through to be prepared to help your employees grow.

5.      Purpose

Engaged employees want to know that their work has a purpose, otherwise they will feel like they are simply completing tasks for a paycheck.

·       Forbes suggests that this can be done by asking “why does this company exist?” Having a mission not only helps your employees feel like they are contributing to the greater good, but it can also help you better determine if prospective candidates would fit with that mission.

·       One great example of an employee who found his mission was a janitor at the NASA Space Center. President Kennedy stopped his tour of the facility when he noticed the janitor carrying a broom. When Kennedy asked what he was doing, the man responded: “Well, Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon.”

·       When employees understand their company’s purpose, they have greater job satisfaction and are more engaged. This not only benefits your employees’ wellbeing but your company’s work and culture as well. 

Read more about RPI's 7 Best Practice Standards®

Tags:  employee engagement  recognition  standard 1  standard 2 

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