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Whether you’re running your own business or are working as an HR manager, you’d know how important it is to keep your employees motivated to work at their best. In order to do that, it is even more crucial to make them feel engaged with what the company is trying to achieve.

Today we’re going to talk about employee engagement strategies that are going to be useful for you to drive success in your company. Let’s begin with a cold hard truth first, and that is, in order to have engaged employees, you need to be a constantly engaged manager. There’s a concept that the world is your mirror, and I totally agree with it. It means whatever is reflecting back to you from your external world is the result of something that’s going on within you. So if you are finding that your employees are not engaged in your company or your team, then it has something to do with a lack of potential engagement from within yourself. If you were to be honest with yourself, can you truly say that you are fully engaged as a manager every day? I’m sure that you can find hints here and there of lack of engagement within yourself, and if that’s the case, it should be no surprise that there’s lack of engagement in your employees as well.

Here are three signs to know what employee engagement actually looks like, and the step-by-step solution to enhance employee motivation if you so far haven’t been able to do so in an effective manner.

They are providing value with their work

If you can visibly see an employee working hard every day with pure intention and passion, to get the work done well and achieve the desired results, you know that they are engaged. This applies if you can really observe the true intention of an employee. Now there’s a difference between looking as though they work hard versus actually working hard, and to tell between the two, the results speak for themselves. If you’re able to see the hard work as well as the results of it, then you know that the employee is doing their job and doing it well.

They are making improvements

Engaged employees are always improving something. They have the mindset to make things better, more efficient and more productive. They don’t just sit there and talk about it. You see them actually going out there and doing it. They make efficiencies happen, they suggest recommendations that can be feasibly taken into account.

They are helpful to others

Employees who are fully engaged are helpful towards their co-workers. They created a brand for themselves to be seen as the go-to advisors or the knowledge champions in their role. They are willing and able to help others and provide others with information that they need. They are also truly engaged in the tasks and duties of their job, because they wouldn’t put themselves in that situation if they didn’t have the desire to be able to share their knowledge and help others. They know that others rely and depend on them, and they’re happy to be there.

Now let’s turn the table back to you as an employer or manager. Are you an engaged employee yourself as a manager? Do you exhibit these three traits daily? If you are truly honest with yourself and you find that you aren’t demonstrating these things on a regular basis, then you have to start to understand why that is, because you can’t expect to have engaged employees if you yourself are not engaged. Like I mentioned before, the only way your employees are going to feel truly motivated, the way that you want them to be, is if you demonstrate that energy first. It’s interesting how people don’t realize that as managers. You have a lot of influence over your employees. The way you carry yourself and behave towards your employees is going to have an impact on your direct reports.

But before we talk about what to do, let’s talk about what not to do. Be sure not to scare your employees into working harder by threatening them with the idea that they’ll lose their job. Don’t try to impose your power over them by scaring them and telling them that they need to get back into shape. If you think that the only way to motivate your unmotivated employees is to scare them through fear, then you don’t really understand your role as a manager.

How to bring your employees back on track

On the other hand, if you are indeed trying your best to keep your employees motivated, but you’ve gotten to a point where some of your good staff still seems disengaged lately, then you need to sit down with them one-on-one so that they can open up to you. Maybe they have some personal issues going on that are affecting their work. You want to tell them tell them in a genuine way that you have their best interests in mind when it comes to helping them to grow as an employee in the organization.

You also want to tell them how much you recognize their value, and again you want to be genuine about this. Bring up specific accomplishments that they were able to achieve throughout the time that they have worked with you, and let them know how much you appreciated those. Let them know how much they have been able to make a contribution to the company. Then finally, you’ll end it off by telling them that in order to help them to truly get back on track, you want to fully understand what it is that’s getting in their way. Once they tell you their reasons as to why they’re feeling this way, that’s when you can start to come up with a plan together to implement new solutions that will mitigate what they’re feeling.

An employee can become disengaged in a multitude of ways. Perhaps they feel that they do deserve a step up in their career, but you haven’t been offering them opportunities for advancement. Perhaps they feel as though they’re not being heard. They may have said things in the past to you that have indicated certain requests, and you just completely ignored and never took them up on it.

However, if you were truly an engaged manager, this wouldn’t be a surprise to you. You would have seen it right away as soon as it started happening, and you could catch it before it became a situation where you have to go through this whole discussion and trying to get them back on track.

So the best is to be a well-engaged manager by really from the start by connecting with your employees, listening to what it is that they’re asking for, paying attention, and then being able to work together.