Across the globe, there is a shortage of a very important resource that is reaching epidemic proportions. What’s worse, it’s a resource that is vital to your fleet operation and has a substantial impact on your bottom line.
This increasingly rare commodity is the engaged employee.
So, what is an engaged employee and why are they the most important asset your fleet operation can have? Generally speaking, an engaged employee is one who is psychologically invested in the organization and committed to getting the most out of his or her abilities and efforts for the sake of advancing the growth and success of the organization.
Research shows that the enthusiasm, positivity and proactive effort that engaged workers bring to the job have a real, measurable impact on the success of an organization. That’s because engaged employees miss fewer days of work, are more productive and are less likely to leave the company.
On the flip side, a disengaged employee can put a drain on your bottom line. This impact comes in many forms: increased demand on managers’ time, poor work quality, higher accident and theft rates, and more missed workdays.
Ultimately, the more engaged employees you have working within your fleet operation, the more successful it, you and your entire organization will be. Here are the top four things you can do to ensure you’re acquiring, developing and retaining engaged employees.
1. Measure Your Engagement Levels and Make a Plan
The best way to know how engaged your employees are is to ask them through a survey. An Internet search of the phrase “employee engagement survey” will return a number of resources and employee engagement templates to help you build a survey that is unique to your fleet operation. The primary goal is to get anonymous responses that measure whether or not your employees feel proud of where they work, are inspired by their management, trust the organization, feel valued and so on. The results will pinpoint the areas that are your organization’s engagement strengths and weaknesses. From there, you can build a strategy that improves upon each.
2. R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find Out What it Means to Your Employees
Leadership expert Peter Economy recently reported for Inc. magazine that employees give their best to the company when you create an environment that makes them partners in the process. This means treating your employees as valuable members of the team by increasing your trust in their decision-making skills, letting them in on the big picture so they understand the company’s plan and strategy, and inviting them to participate in other areas of the company where their expertise can contribute to the success of the organization.
Employees also increase their engagement when their personal lives are respected. This can be accomplished by taking time to have conversations with employees that touch upon personal topics and implementing policies that respect work-life balance, such as providing flexible work hours.
3. Improve Leadership and Management Effectiveness
A Dale Carnegie Training study revealed that 80 percent of employees who were very dissatisfied with their immediate supervisor were also disengaged. That’s why it is so vital to hire and promote the best people for management positions and also ensure they receive training that empowers them to effectively engage their teams.
But proper hiring and training only get you so far. Your organization must also measure employee engagement and hold managers accountable for poor results. In other words, employee engagement must be made a formal responsibility for anyone who manages people.
4. Communicate and Show Appreciation
As with most people-management solutions, engaging employees begins with communication. Employees are more likely to be engaged when management and leadership not only clearly communicate goals and available job growth opportunities, but provide an environment in which employees can communicate their opinions and ideas.
Engagement levels also grow when employees are recognized for making contributions to the success of the organization. Whether it’s through personally thanking employees, providing monetary rewards or making acknowledgements in the company newsletter, it’s important to implement ways to show that you notice their accomplishments and appreciate their efforts.