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Engagement matters

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The current circumstances have presented a tremendous opportunity for CEOs to engage their employees. Engaged employees are motivated to do their best work daily and are committed to the overall success of the organisation. While employee interaction and communication may be common place among the rank and file, it is not always effectively done between the CEO and staff. It is believed that although management develop their talent policies and strategies by examining the workforce in its entirety, engagement is personal and hence CEOs and department heads can only be effective one employee at a time.

Employees spend the majority of their waking hours on the job, as such, it is important that they feel appreciated by their employers. A small gesture especially from the CEO goes a long way to keep employees feeling satisfied on the job.

Unfortunately, the status quo is that many employees have very little interaction with their CEOs over the course of their employment. In many respects, the relationship resembles that of the aristocrats and the commoners. Be that as it may, there are a few CEOs who are exceptions to the norm. These ‘grass root’ CEOs are cognizant of the importance of the individual contribution that each employee makes to the organisation.

Employee engagement is a key factor for employee loyalty and retention. Engaged employees, engage customers and engaged customers spend more. For this reason, there are actions that a CEO can take to increase their level of engagement with employees. First, by building trust, trust is built when CEOs communicate with transparency and authenticity. This can be done via the use of short videos rather than impersonal letters to disseminate pertinent organisation information. Such a method reduces misinformation and the running of the company’s rumour mill; and at the same time reaches, informs and aligns employees. Trust in the CEO increases employees’ confidence in the leadership and commitment to the success of the organisation. Second, invest in small gestures; a small act of kindness can produce an oversized impact in the lives of the employees. Remembering an employee’s personal milestone, a smile in the hallway and an always open door are minimal investments that can forge strong relationships between a CEO and employees.

An increase in the level of engagement between the CEO and employees can create a more harmonious and productive work environment, loyal and highly motivated employees and camaraderie among all.

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