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Building trust essential to engaging employees

The new global economy makes employee engagement an essential business tool.

The dwindling costs of implementing new technology and reaching new customers is leveling the playing field for businesses of all sizes. Using the latest data mining strategies and social media, even firms with small staff sizes are able to provide quality products to a global audience.

Innovation Excellence points out that this reality makes employee engagement an essential business tool. Companies with engaged staff members are able to react faster to shifts in markets, becoming innovative leaders in their fields. Unfortunately, many organizations struggle to fully engage staff members.

The source notes that employee reward and recognition programs are effective tools for motivating workers. The initiatives help open a dialogue between employees and managers that builds trust and ensures workers feel appreciated. Trust in management was the top way to foster engagement, according to a survey of HR professionals by SilkRoad. The communication and feedback required to run successful reward programs shows support and appreciation for employee efforts, which is a key to building an engaging work environment.

Overcoming challenges to reward programs
A recent survey by Accountemps found that 65 percent of companies conduct recognition programs. However, Fast Company states that there are several challenges businesses need to overcome to properly motivate workers. The source points out that it is extremely difficult to make every employee happy. To generate the best results, rewards should be personalized, but incentives that work for one group may not inspire another. To overcome this, many organizations offer a range of potential rewards, letting employees select things that they want.

Feedback is essential to ensuring that reward programs are properly aligned with employee preferences. By asking for input on how to improve initiatives, companies can increase the sense of ownership among staff members. This boosts participation and further motivates workers by building a culture of recognition.

Timely and public recognition is another way to build trust in management. When employees regularly see their co-workers receive praise for accomplishments, they know that their own efforts are not going unnoticed. Incorporating suggestions from staff members is just one aspect of building a supporting culture. Managers should also be encouraged to discuss career development goals with their team members. The SilkRoad survey found that 52 percent of HR professionals said career development was an important part of engaging workers.

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