A recent survey reveals that trust in the modern workplace is plummeting. This lack of trust could only have a detrimental effect on employee engagement, loyalty and performance as well as on the organization’s potential for growth. Ultimately, keeping employees engaged relies heavily on how a leader manages the workplace. Although there are no magic recipes, there are a few secrets every great leader should know:
1. Reward-driven motivation is ineffective.
How can a team remain engaged for the long haul when they are only given incentives which are not necessarily long-term oriented? A better way to motivate them would be to share the wider-picture vision of the company with them, provide them with the tools and guidance to attain these goals and empower them with meaningful feedback throughout.
2. Micromanagement is damaging.
Nothing spells “distrust” like having an employer laser-focused on their employees’ every move and second-guessing them at every opportunity. This increases stress and anxiety levels and diminishes engagement. Instead, employers should focus more on guiding them to the right direction. Mistakes will happen but they will only be an opportunity for self-evaluation both for the employee and the leader.
3. Rigid hierarchies kill morale and trust.
Pulling rank and ordering people around will not sit well with the modern workforce, especially Millennials. In fact, Millennials are that portion of employees who appreciate flexible hierarchies and open-minded leaders who view them as partners rather than minions. They want to feel comfortable with sharing their views freely and can only commit when they work for companies which aspire to innovation, cater to their employees’ growth and are socially responsible. Therefore, embracing traditional management practices defeats the purpose of engaging them.
4. Fostering employee autonomy can work wonders.
Work schedules are becoming less time-oriented and more results-oriented. Therefore, there is a need to depart from traditional 9-5 workdays and allow employees the freedom to work from wherever and whenever. After all, technology has enabled workers to work more efficiently, so allowing them to work from home occasionally is unlikely to have any adverse effects on their performance.
5. Making information accessible is key.
Employees need to have instant access to all the information pertaining to their performance evaluations and assigned tasks. Otherwise, how will they be able to perform optimally and make any necessary adjustments to improve their productivity?