Keeping Your Workforce Engaged

No matter what size or how dispersed your workforce is, you want your workers to be engaged and productive. Keeping your employees focused and motivated may not be written into your job description, but it is an essential ingredient to your success as a manager. When you manage to keep your employees engaged, you are giving them the best opportunity you can — the opportunity to prosper and succeed. Here are concrete things you can do to give workers that chance.

Look for Visionaries
Much has been written about having vision, and it's a hallmark of all great leaders. But merely stating that you have vision is not enough in today's competitive workplace. Supervisors must have the ability to constantly and persuasively articulate that vision to their employees. Once you have conveyed your ultimate goals, being consistent in your behavior is the key to achieving them. In his book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Motivating People, Michael Ramundo writes "Look for the visionaries on your team and appeal to their idealistic views. You can push these people a little further with your visions and goals."

Keep Them Involved
Challenging workers is a huge component in keeping them engaged, but managers often overlook something more basic — keeping them involved and in the know. When employees feel like they don't know what is going on in the company or on a specific project they become disenchanted and disassociated. This means reaching out and communicating at all levels by ensuring that team members have open lines of communication with each other and that management is sharing vital information. Clarifying their roles and duties keeps workers involved and invested in projects. Aligning their duties to the overall goals of your business will make them feel like they are involved and part of something bigger than themselves.

Make Them Accountable
The ability to function effectively as a team member is critical and creating a high degree of personal accountability ensures that there are no weak links. Appoint team leaders to be in charge of specific projects and make them accountable for their final completion and success. Be sure the team leader has access to you and understands that you are reporting progress to your own superiors. Team leaders should know that the success or failure of a venture inevitably affects other departments and operations within your business. The key with accountability is that it does not stop at the top and must extend down to every professional in every position of your organization. Hold everyone accountable and make sure that their actions have consequences — whether the actions are good or bad.

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