The days where employees tiptoe on the outside of the inner circle of highly-ranked executives are long gone. Now, as founders, CEOs, and small business owners, let’s stay true to only being as good as our team by actively engaging with our employees.
According to Gallup, employee engagement not only increases company morale but also increases productivity and boosts profitability by 21 percent. To began interacting with your employees, follow the tips below:
Don’t Hide in Your Office
Many CEOs have an open-door policy, but true employee engagement happens when you actually come out of your office. Sometimes an open-door policy is not enough, and in certain situations, it can be counter-intuitive to the CEO and employee’s relationship.
According to CBS News, a Cornell University professor actually thinks an open-door policy could deter employees from communicating with higher-ups. Think about it — who would want to knock on the door of the boss who is rarely seen and gives off an unapproachable vibe?
Create a Safe Space
Creating a safe space for employees means allowing room for mistakes without the fear of harsh punishment or termination, freedom to voice opinions, and the ability to contribute to the decision-making process. One method of creating a safe space is to design a more open and friendly workspace structure. A Serraview study shows that about 70 percent of businesses have done away with the traditional cubicle style office arrangement by adopting a more open space design.
Allow Employee Autonomy When Engaging
No one likes to be micromanaged as it could put a strain on the founder and employee’s relationship as well as dampening working relationships among employees. The University of Brigham reports that as the employee moves down the chain of command, the less autonomy they are afforded. After training and providing your employees with the necessary tools and resources, consider taking a step back and trusting your team. Find the sweet spot between being aloof and micromanaging.
Show Them You’re Human
Sometimes employees can get the sense that their higher up is a hard-faced machine that only steps out of their office to use the restroom or bring bad news. Instead, try your hand at small talk or show interest in your employee’s home life and hobbies.
Acknowledge Their Work
Don’t let the only time you engage with your employees be when something goes wrong or to negatively critique their work. If they did a stellar job on the advertisement campaign or secured a high profile partnership, acknowledge their good work.
How important is recognization? An O.C. Tanner case study on employee engagement reports that 53 percent of employees would stay at their job if they were recognized for their good work.