Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

3 strategies for building trust and increasing employee engagement

engagement4While managers are often consumed by the daily logistical grind of managing people’s hours and juggling their workloads, perhaps their more important focus is the long-term goal of maximizing employee retention and productivity. In order to run a profitable business, any boss needs to maintain a workforce that sticks around and stays productive.

Unfortunately, this is often difficult. Far too many companies are overrun with workers who are disillusioned with their jobs, no longer engaged the same way they were on day one. These employees are often unable to stay productive, and in many cases they’re looking for the first opportunity to quit and move on to something else.

Why is this the case? What’s stopping today’s employees from becoming engaged and productive over the long haul? What’s the problem?

According to Forbes, it might be a matter of trust. Executive coach and business strategist Christine Comaford told the news source that relationships between workers and their supervisors are immensely important – people need to trust their supervisors before they can work effectively for them. The moment an employee begins to feel like his or her mission or values don’t line up can be back-breaking.

“When the mission, vision and values are stale, or not aligned, or not communicated in an enticing way, people feel a lack of belonging, they feel low social status in comparison with others who work for organizations that are alive and aligned and they may feel betrayed if there is a conflict between what they signed up for and what is happening or between a stated value and reality,” Comaford explained.

In other words, today’s managers have some work to do. They need to regain the trust of the workforce, or they risk falling into a vicious cycle of declining engagement, low productivity and high turnover.

To this end, here are three strategies for building employee trust that may prove valuable.

Soliciting feedback – and acting upon it
If you want to know how you can better manage your employees, the answer is fairly simple – just ask. If managers request feedback from their staff members more often, they can get direct input on what they can do better. Of course, it’s not enough merely to ask for advice. Managers also must be willing to act upon the tips they’re given. Otherwise, they appear tone-deaf and ineffectual.

Aligning with employees’ mission and values
What are your employees passionate about? Do they want their work to be challenging? Meaningful? Do they want to have less of it, or more? One big step that managers can take is to find out what missions and values their employees care about the most and align their priorities.

Delegating work effectively
It’s also important for every manager to know the strengths and weaknesses of each employee. If you know everyone’s capabilities, you can delegate tasks effectively so that everyone has a role they’re comfortable with. This is a key strategy for maximizing the productivity of any staff.

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