Business performance can be directly linked to employee interaction and participation:
Engaged staff are 44% more productive than satisfied staff
Inspired staff are 125% more productive than satisfied staff.
Your business is your employees. No matter how involved you are as an owner, manager or investor. Your staff run your office, they run your stores and interact with your clients often on a more regular basis than yourself. Firstly, this means you need to employ and maintain individuals that you trust, but secondly it means that these employees need to be engaged and invested in your organisation.
So, how do you create an engaged company culture and, better yet, maintain it?
A strong start
From the very first introduction to your business, candidates like to feel valued. There is always a level of poker face being portrayed by both sides throughout the recruitment phase, but allow your candidates to feel welcomed and valued even at this early stage; strong communication is key here, keeping candidates informed no matter of the outcome of each interview. Maintaining this ‘valued’ feeling throughout their journey with the company will provide you with a more profitable employee.
Communication is key concerning everything you do inside your business. Openness, understanding and receptivity are qualities your organisation needs to be encouraging and practising. Not only should this come from the top-down, but between your employees and from the bottom-up too. Implementing regular team meetings, open door policies, and encouraging various channels of communication; email newsletter updates, social media, professional messaging platforms like Slack or Facebook Workplace are just some of the ways you can strengthen your company culture of engaged employees with clever use of communication.
Understanding each role or each department within the business makes for much better overall performance. Employees engage on a deeper level, if they better understand their role in the whole operation. You can also expect to recognise more efficient and effective communications between your staff if they understand each other’s roles more intimately; questions being directed to the correct department, information being sent on time and a stronger team environment.
This can easily be ignored, and can sound like a potential money burner but don’t get dismissive, get creative! Perhaps you could stretch to getting a yoga teacher in on a Wednesday morning to combat that #humpday attitude towards work, or a Juice Bar at the beginning of the week? Giving your employees a healthy start to the day, or a lift throughout the week demonstrates an effort to look after your workers needs. This is a perfect opportunity for them to switch off from work, at work; a positive in their day, associated with you, their employer.
Better yet, truly listen to what your staff want. Promoting a healthy lifestyle is definitely current and beneficial for your staff, but if doughnuts on a Friday is what all they desire, then hark our earlier advice and listen to communications; give the people doughnuts!
We all know employees respond well to rewards and this doesn’t have to be monetised, it can be as simple as acknowledging their hard work or recent suggestion, which was taken on-board by management. It could be a traditional ‘employee of the week’ set up, or a more inventive ‘free afternoon’ reward which they can cash in at their leisure. Competing for small rewards like this can introduce a little gentle, friendly competition amongst staff, allowing them to drive each other forward. If your company is in a position to, then yes, monetary rewards or larger ‘treats’ can be used to reward hard work and alignment with company values. Whatever your business can offer, rewards will prove to increase employee incentive and engagement.
Are your leaders engaged?
Engaging your staff is going to be an uphill battle if your management and team leaders aren’t already equally and vigorously engaged. It’s age old, but your leaders should be leading by example, their team is never going to get actively involved with new initiatives if their team leader isn’t bothering either.
Spring is the perfect time to take stock and reevaluate how you’re employees are engaging with your company and immersing themselves in your company culture. There is always room for improvement, so evaluate your own actions first – how well are you communicating, engaging and rewarding?
Use our points as a check list; the improvements you can make are endless, so get started!