Employee Participation: A Powerful Engagement Lever
Article revised on 1 August 2017
A successful company must rely on employees who are motivated, engaged and productive. Among the strategies likely to help you “keep the flame burning” among your team members, it is useful to adopt a management approach that encourages employee participation in less traditional projects that go beyond their job description.
There is nothing like showing your employees that your company acknowledges their contribution to its success to boost their motivation. By giving employees an opportunity to take part in special projects, you deliver a strong message, confirming that you consider them as partners. Results:
- Employees who are focused on achieving the organization’s objectives
- A greater feeling of belonging
- Increased productivity
- Less resistance to change
- A better working atmosphere, based on mutual aid and solidarity
- More fulfilled employees, who are happy to use their talents
- Better staff retention
Igniting the spark
What projects should you entrust to your employees? All that, among other things, are designed to address a practical problem. That’s because your employees are often on the field and see issues up close. Being at the forefront, they can pinpoint the areas for improvement and are well positioned to come up with solutions.
Everything is valid, from a suggestion box to a collaborative platform with team meetings. However, you must ensure that the suggestions and ideas put forward are acted on.
It is therefore important to make time available to employees, to allow them to work on special projects. The objective is not to add to their regular workload but rather to give them an opportunity to use some of their other talents, meet challenges and take part in initiatives that will impact the entire organization.
Ideas on how to change things up
New work distribution formulas aimed at sparking employee innovation and participation are continuously emerging. A few suggestions:
- Create joint committees made up not only of senior management or human resources personnel, but also employees, regardless of their position.
- Change the format of your meetings: Certain organizations have adopted a stand-up meeting format, which boosts productivity and action. Others hold walk and talk meetings. Both formats are gaining in popularity, because they promote creativity.
- Hold a quick staff meeting at the start of each day to give employees an opportunity to talk about what they’re working on and any issues they may be having. Their colleagues can say or do something to help them overcome an obstacle.
- Offer employees an opportunity to work on projects based on their interests rather than their skills.
- Hold collaboration, innovation and project search days, in which employees and managers work together not only to complete their regular projects but also reflect on specific issues that need to be resolved or spend time brainstorming.
By being able to take part in special projects, your employees are able to make full use of their talents and reach their potential. Giving them this opportunity is a form of recognition. Ultimately, it will be a win-win for your organization: new ways of doing things, new ideas for improving procedures and products, happier and more engaged employees… Only good things!
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