It’s no secret that we have many different generations working together in today’s workforce. In fact this the first time in history there are five generations working together. Currently we have the following generations actively participating in today’s workforce:
(source: Gallup 2015)
The reality is that employee engagement is a challenge for most companies. Yes, having five generations present makes engaging employees more challenging but clearly it is not the sole reason why engagement is lacking. So how can you engage a workforce with five different generations? The answer can be found by following five simple steps.
Understand employee values.
Each generation has it’s own unique set of workplace values. Start by understanding what your employee values in the workplace. Knowing generally what your employees are concerned about having in their career will help you understand how to work with them and provide an engaging work environment. Check out this graphic below:
Provide Direction for Employees
Establish a set of mutually defined objectives and goals to focus activities and measure success. Your employees need to know where they are going. This does not mean you need to tell them what to do but rather discuss their personal career goals and corporate career goals. By defining the “big picture” for employees you add meaning and value to the work they doing.
Create A Positive Work Environment.
This step is often misunderstood. A positive work environment is not just having team bonding activities, lunches, and flexible schedules. A positive work environment exudes respect and is founded on trust. To create trust you must first lead by example. Then create a framework for effective communication. You can create effective communication if you create an environment where active listening and understanding are at the forefront. By creating a trusting work environment, you will naturally exude respect. Employees will feel safe to share ideas and valued by their peers and managers.
Provide Opportunity for Employee Development and Growth.
Providing opportunities for growth and development is making an investment in your workforce. To begin, assess your employees’ strengths and weaknesses. You need to understand how they work, what is working well, and what could be improved to identify opportunities for growth and development. This is also important to learn to effectively delegate to your employees. You want to ensure you delegate tasks that are challenging, but achievable, for your team. Through effective delegation you can also help your employee grow and thrive within the organization.
Coach Employees for High Performance.
Developing coaching skills begins with evaluating your ability to coach. Coaching for performance is not an easy task. You need to maintain purpose, set goals, and address poor performance if needed. To start coaching an employee, establish clear non-negotiables. What are you coaching for? What is the goal of this interaction? How will your employee achieve these goals? How will you evaluate progress? Every interaction you will have with this employee is an opportunity for coaching along with your pre-determined meetings and check-in points.
A leaders primary function is to motivate their followers. To drive engagement in your organization, start by looking at your leadership team. Are they currently motivating your workforce or managing your workforce? These five steps will help you begin to engage your workforce but sustainable engagement often involves cultural shifts. Contact SKYE Business Solutions to drive engagement in your organization.
SKYE Business Solutions helps leaders discover their purpose: the driving force behind your organization’s ability to achieve. Purpose empowers leaders to recognize value; creating a culture of engagement, contribution, and trust. SKYE propels your leadership to the next level: pushing through the ordinary to unlock the full potential throughout all levels of your organization.