Can you answer the question, are your employees engaged at work? And no, engaged doesn’t mean ‘happy’. While your employees may seem content enough in the workplace, engagement comes down to how enthusiastic they are about their job and how dedicated they are to making a difference.
Employee engagement can have a significant impact not only on people’s individual performance, but also the performance of the company as a whole (and research backs this up). So how do you know if your employees are engaged at work? Here are three simple things you can look out for to know whether your employees are engaged, whether they’re mortgage brokers, loan processors, bankers or operational staff.
1. Engaged employees care
We’ve all witnessed the difference between employees who care about their job and those that don’t. Think about the teenage kid who serves you at the supermarket – barely making eye contact and obviously longing for their shift to end – compared with someone who strikes up conversation and asks about your plans for the weekend. They may even highlight some specials you could be interested in. That’s the difference between someone who’s truly engaged and passionate about what they do, and someone who just wants to get in, get their pay check, and get out. Often you can identify whether an employee truly cares about their job through their language, what they talk about and how they interact with customers.
2. Engaged employees go the extra mile
People who care about what they do will go above and beyond, without being asked. They’ll take responsibility for tasks and make things happen. That may be evident in the way they stay back after hours to chase up a customer enquiry, or in the way they remember their clients’ children’s names. Just keep in mind: because these people truly feel that they’re a part of something important, they’ll also want to feel appreciated for what they do.
3. Engaged employees trust their managers
Trust and communication between employees and management is important. If employees are engaged, they’ll want to work with their managers to achieve best outcomes – both for themselves and for the business. Look out for signs that your employees trust and appreciate management, by communicating openly or being open to feedback.
So how can you improve employee engagement?
There are many things you can implement to try and improve workplace engagement, but not all of them will work for every employee. (And while it’s pretty cool – installing a ping-pong table in the break room doesn’t immediately make people more engaged.) However, there is one very simple technique that works every time.
Engagement all comes back to understanding your employees and providing for their needs. Take the time to get to know your employees: who they are, what they want and what they need. All your workers have different drivers, both within the workplace and out. For example, Gen Y are typically more motivated by ongoing training and the prospect of career development. Gen X, on the other hand, can be more driven towards job stability and flexible work conditions. While those are only some general observations, it’s up to you to get out there and talk to your people individually.
There’s only so much you can do to influence employee engagement during an executive boardroom discussion. You’ll achieve more meaningful connections and a higher level of engagement by actually engaging with people yourself. Get to know what makes your people tick, what drives them and what makes them excited about their work.
If you’d like some help with finding ways to increase your workplace engagement, Platinum People Group has plenty of experience working with businesses in the mortgage broking and financial planning space to improve the culture and satisfaction of employees, so we’d be happy to help you improve your team’s engagement! Get in touch for a free 15 minute business consultation. Or, if you’re not feeling engaged in your current work environment, we can offer a free 15 minute career consultation to help you find a workplace that supports you and helps you thrive.