Thoughts on keeping your employees engaged and happy in this market

Happy New Year!  We’ve roared into 2018 with a lot of momentum – that’s great news!  I am hearing that the tight labor market is absolutely having an impact on companies of all sizes and in all sectors.  Some of you may not have felt the challenges until now, and this is new to you. Others have been feeling the hiring pains for some time.  It will be increasingly important to keep the employees who are contributing to your success. Trust me, they are getting calls from recruiters every day.

So how do you, as a leader, executive or founder – keep your best employees engaged and happy?

1. Loyal employees know you have their back

Old school thinking is that if I hire you and pay you then you will be loyal to me. You will work hard, stay late, do what I say and not question my authority.  In our labor market today you are hiring well-educated, enthusiastic and confident humans who have options.  You’ll need to earn their loyalty by showing them that you are invested in their growth and respect their contribution, intellect and energy.  Otherwise go hire a robot.

2. Engaged employees know they have skin in the game

Engagement doesn’t mean that everyone on the team is a BFF.  Engagement comes from employees who know that they are making a difference, contributing to company success and solving problems that are bigger than themselves.  Engaged employees are your biggest fans – they tell all their friends how great their company is and how fulfilled they are at work.

3. Happy Employees leverage their strengths

As a leader, your job is to design a work structure that leads to the best possible output.  In my experience when people are working with their natural talents and empowered to use these talents in their work lives, they are much more productive, successful, satisfied and happy.  If someone on your team is struggling, try re configuring their role in order to allow them to utilize their natural talent – and watch them sprout!

So, in 2018 how will you serve your team?

  1. Will you help them grow by letting them stretch their potential while guiding them in the background rather than commanding them from the front?
  2. Will you lead by example and participate as an active member of the team rather than the ruler over the team?
  3. Will you stop asking more of your employees than you are willing to contribute?
  4. Will you listen intently and take an interest in each employee as a human being?
  5. Will you take the time to get to know your employees, their families, pets, hobbies and then remain interested in them and their personal journey in addition to their professional growth?
  6. Will you earn their loyalty by showing them how important they are to the company, the team and you? Or will you simply expect loyalty in return for a paycheck?
  7. Will you find a way to let each employee flex their natural talents as work?
  8. Will you hold yourself accountable for improving Loyalty, Engagement and Happiness of each team member in 2018?

Will you have the courage to make changes to retain your most precious assets this year?  For more information on growth, engagement and retention visit us here!