Having engaged employees is what drives a company forward, having a team that is passionate about what they do is what sets the difference between top tier and average companies.

In 2015, Google was the winner of ‘The best places to work in 2015’, there is no surprise that Google is undisputedly one of the most successful companies in the world, this alone shows the link between how successful a company is and how happy their employees are. Gallup defines engaged employees as those who are involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace.

When looking at how to achieve this level of employee satisfaction, communication should be prioritised as the main factor. Breaking things down, communication is a basic human skill that forms the basis of all relationships between people or companies. To be able to effectively communicate, you must be able to acknowledge the other person’s emotions, body actions and words in order to really connect with somebody.

In this article I will go over specific ways that that will help you in the long run to build more effective interpersonal relationships with your employees in order to get them to become more engaged at work. As mentioned before, having a workforce that is passionate in what they are doing and are satisfied in their role is crucial to a company’s success.

Empathetic Listening

It’s easy to hear what other people are saying to you, however it takes the extra effort and understanding in order to empathetically listen to what somebody is really saying. No matter what role you are in at work, having empathy when conversing with other people in the workplace will help you understand people a lot better.  

Empathy is defined as “seeing things from other’s point of view”, this is done without being judgemental or biased by preconceived ideas or beliefs, it is solely used as a way to view situations from other people’s perspective.

Deeper listening builds a rapport and allows a speaker to express themselves more freely and comfortably. The idea of better listening to build engagement is to gauge feedback from your colleagues on a variety of topics. It is no surprise that better relationships at work tend to increase the employee satisfaction levels, which will improve engagement.

Each individual has a unique approach to every situation and taking into consideration people’s ideas, views and points on how they feel on a topic can be used as important information. Being open to criticism and feedback is essential to fixing problems where they are and being open allows you to build relationships with your colleagues.

Building psyche

Having a clear mindset is important when it comes to engagement, your mindset will affect relationships at work, how happy you are and contentment with the work, pay, hours and everything else that comes with it. Every detail can affect how engaged you are, for example you may feel underappreciated at work, this will cause you to be unmotivated, unsociable or you may start putting in less effort. This specific problem is a actually a real concern for a lot of companies, as shown by a poll conducted by Harvard business review out of 1000 employees where “Not recognising employees achievements” was voted as the biggest complaints towards employers.

The fix for this problem is easy to implement and it’s free. All it takes is 5 minutes out of your time to properly recognise and acknowledge when someone produces great quality work. This recognition goes a long way as the worker will feel valued at their workplace and reassures them you are paying attention to their work. This technique can be applied to a lot of scenarios, the power of 1-to-1 interaction should not be underestimated.

Internal communications

Communications within an organisation should be seen through the prism of being an ‘enabler’. It allows for the smooth operational running of an organisation through clear and effective channels within a company.

Having clear internal communications systems so that collaborative ideas and projects can be worked on, discussed and so that information can be passed through to the relevant people when needed is important.

Going the extra mile

I can speak from first hand experience that the more involved a manger is within his team, the more comfortable and engaged you feel towards a project and to work in general. We have deduced that higher rates of employee satisfaction leads to higher engagement, so why not go the extra mile for your employees and treat them like they are your most respected customers?

Small gestures such as organising events at the weekend for team bonding, celebrating birthdays, introducing a reward or extra commission based scheme or even a company loyalty programme will boost levels of satisfaction and have some fun out of it too.

In the Harvard poll mentioned earlier, one of the most voted complaint about a workplace is sometimes the managers do not seek to improve individual skills. Young workers especially are always keen to improve their own skills wherever possible, by providing this and sending employees on select training courses which will improve their skill set depending on which course it is, but also benefit the company as they will have acquired an employee back with new knowledge.