10 C’s to Engage Employee’s Heads, Hearts and Hands

Summer is upon us! As sunshine beams into cubicles everywhere, employees are feeling restless.  Pipe dreams of sandy beaches and tall iced drinks dance around their heads. With such beautiful weather, it’s hard not to drift off to Tahiti, and don’t even pretend you’re not packing your mental bags just like the rest of us!  Not to worry – there is plenty you can do to recapture focus on the future of your business.

That’s where employee engagement comes in!  An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work. They are inspired (I want to do this), committed and fascinated (I love what I am doing). Isn’t that what every leader hopes for their employees?

If you want to avoid wandering daydreams and refocus efforts towards the success of the organization, practice the Ten C’s to Employee Engagement.

  1. Connect: Employee engagement is a direct reflection of how employees feel about their relationship with the boss. Leaders must show they value their employees. Show interest in your employee’s personal goals. Let them know you see them as more than just a worker-bee!
  2. Career: Leaders should provide challenging and meaningful work with opportunities for career advancement. Most people want to do new things in their job. Good leaders challenge employees; but at the same time, they must instill the confidence that the challenges can be met. Not giving people the knowledge and tools to be successful is unethical and de-motivating; it is also likely to lead to stress, frustration, and, ultimately, lack of engagement.
  3. Clarity: Leaders must communicate a clear vision. People want to understand the vision that senior leadership has for the organization, and the goals that leaders or departmental heads have for the division, unit, or team. Employees need to understand what the goals are, why they are important and how they best can be achieved.
  4. Convey: Leaders clarify their expectations about employees and provide feedback on their performance. Good leaders establish processes and procedures that help people master important tasks and facilitate goal achievement.
  5. Congratulate: Exceptional leaders give recognition, and they do so a lot; they coach and convey.
  6. Contribute: People want to know that their input matters and that they are contributing to the organization’s success in a meaningful way. Good leaders help people see and feel how they are contributing to the organization’s success and future.
  7. Control: Employees value control over the flow and pace of their jobs and leaders can create opportunities for employees to exercise this control. A feeling of “being in on things,” and of being given opportunities to participate in decision making often reduces stress; it also creates trust and a culture where people want to take ownership of problems and their solutions.
  8. Collaborate: Studies show that, when employees work in teams and have the trust and cooperation of their team members, they outperform individuals and teams which lack good relationships.
  9. Credibility: Leaders should strive to maintain a company’s reputation and demonstrate high ethical standards. People want to be proud of their jobs, their performance, and their organization.
  10. Confidence: Good leaders help create confidence in a company by being exemplars of high ethical and performance standards.

Every interaction with an employee has the potential to influence engagement and inspire the employee’s efforts. That’s why employee engagement isn’t a one-time event. Circumstances, needs, and perceptions change, so building an engaged team must be an ongoing effort, and it requires a year-round commitment. Practicing the Ten C’s will create an environment where employees are excited to work towards the success of the organization.

Taken from the Ivey Business Journal’s: THE TEN C’S OF EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT by Dan Crim and Gerard Seijts here