Top-Shelf Tip No. 25:

"Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret."

Mary Kay Ash

Easy Ways To Engage Employees, Part 2

Here are some startling facts about today's employees: 51 percent of the U.S. workforce is not engaged (Gallup ); disengaged employees cost organizations between $450 and $550 billion annually (The Engagement Institute); 34 percent of employees say they plan to leave their current role in the next 12 months ( Mercer ).

With stats like these, how can companies improve engagement and reduce turnover?

According to business author and speaker Curt Redden, employee engagement does not have to be difficult. In fact, there are a few very simple things you can do to create an encouraging and engaging environment for your team. Yesterday, Promotional Consultant Today shared five simple steps. Today, we share five more.

1. Contact With Senior Management. Organizations that excel in engagement consistently encourage access and informality among senior staff to help employees to feel more comfortable, enjoy their work more and provide more discretionary effort. So, encourage your executives to pop in on random employees to just see what they're most excited about working on and make them feel comfortable interacting at that level.

2. Celebrate Successes And Winss. When someone does something awesome, find ways to recognize and reward the behavior you want. It is amazing how many employees still only get feedback primarily when they have done something wrong. So many leaders simply expect great performance, and then think they are providing fantastic coaching and leadership when they rip apart the performance of someone who has screwed up.

3. Invite Input. Once a quarter, include in any regularly scheduled meetings an exercise called "Keep It or Kill It." Employees get to nominate rules or processes they believe do not add value. Leadership still has veto authority, but the goal should be able to kill at least one outdated or unnecessary rule or process (and you can't add one to replace it). There are so many areas in which this can have impact.

4. Extend Trust To Get Trust. While there are some specific instances where access to some sites and/or personal devices needs to be controlled, the best companies are moving towards understanding that employees are increasingly not separating their work and personal lives. Embrace this. In social media specifically, encourage and help your employees to be brand ambassadors on all platforms, not just on the ones you think are for business.

5. Let Your Employees Be Authentic And They Will Do Their Best for You. A growing majority of organizations understand and value having diversity on their teams. They not only get it, they strive to leverage it for a competitive advantage. Many companies are now allowing, even encouraging, unique looks and individuality in their employees' appearance. While some companies are hesitant to permit their staff to show visible tattoos, facial hair or body piercings at work—especially if they are seeking to maintain a carefully curated image—if possible, allow your employees to be themselves. The key is getting and keeping the best talent, not the talent you think looks best. Seek employees who are passionate, talented and believe in the corporate goals you believe in. Those are the ones who will become truly engaged, deliver the ultimate customer experience and help build the brand you are seeking.

The key differentiator for organizations moving forward will be in how they become an employer of choice for top talent, so set the stage now in creating a culture where employees care and want to deliver.

Source: Curt Redden is a speaker, talent-development expert and co-author of Going PRIMAL: A Layered Approach to Creating the Life You Desire. Redden has spent more than 25 years working to support and encourage employees as they strive for success. He currently is the head of global talent development for a Fortune 50 company. He is also certified by the Association for Talent Development as a master trainer and performance-improvement consultant.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

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