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Leaders need to inspire employee engagement

Frew Murdoch

It's not only an employee's responsibility to ensure they're engaged at work. The bulk of the burden falls on leadership to ensure employee engagement in the workplace. Leaders need to give employees the recognition they need and deserve to inspire them to greater heights. But how can this be done?

Mark Crowley - leadership consultant, speaker and author – says that to help ensure your team routinely knows their work is appreciated and never taken for granted, there are three ideas leaders need to keep at top of mind:

1. Never assume your employees know that you appreciate them

You can't just assume that your team knows you're grateful and appreciative for going the extra mile - they're not mind readers and there's no way they can know that you value them unless you show it or tell them.

Every day, take five minutes to send an e-mail to each of your employees who put an extra bit of effort into their work and impressed you.

2. Tell employees what they mean to you

Don't think that your employees will take advantage of you if you tell them how much they matter to you and how much you depend on them. You'd be surprised by how moved they are when you tell them you think the world of them.

Be honest with them and when they do something for you that helps you with your work, give them some positive feedback, such as the following:

  • I'm so happy you're on my team.
  • Your work is invaluable to our work.
  • You are an irreplaceable person in this team.
  • Your work is important to our success.

3. Institutionalise recognition

Crowley says: "People will work extremely hard when they know they can count on receiving your recognition. So build a routine: devote the start of every team meeting to acknowledging achievements, and tell people in advance what specific performance you'll consistently honour. Then get ready for soaring performance."

You're not the only leader in your business. Take strides to make it known across all the company's leadership that recognition is an essential tool for employee engagement and try and integrate it into your company's policies, standards and processes.

Frew Murdoch is the assistant editor of HR Pulse. She has a BA degree in communications and English and a passion for HR technology.

Christine Botha, co-author of 'Ethics in HR Management: A guide for HR professionals and line managers', had this to say:

"I stumbled across your review of our Ethics Guide published 28 June 2012 and wish to thank you for the positive and complimentary comments made – this was a lovely surprise and most rewarding. I will certainly pass this on to all co-authors of the Guide."