There is a clear trend in business circles and it’s fairly evident if you only stop and smell (or taste) the fruits of flowers of these new labours. At the forefront of this new trend are businesses such as Facebook, Pixar, and Google. The biggest proof that their methods not only combine to be the trend of the future but also the most functionality-focused strategy of the future is that these are enterprises at the top of their game with respect to productivity and popularity both. What trend are we talking about? We’re talking about the fact that all these enterprises focus on employee engagement, of course.
In fact, most forward-looking businesses in the world right now are moving towards policies aimed at improving their employee engagement. The biggest benefit of greater employee engagement is simply that businesses get to tap into the creativity and wisdom of every employee. The trick is to empower the employee. When the employee feels empowers, he feels happy, and wants to contribute more to the company’s cause.
What’s The Problem with Employee Engagement Right Now?
There are many businesses that are implementing employee engagement policies. The problem is that they’re doing it by rote. Employee engagement is an intuitive exercise. This means that every business must pursue employee engagement in its own unique way. In other words, what one company is doing cannot be copied by another company because the personality of each business is unique.
For instance, employee engagement techniques should ideally take into account variables such as the nature of the employees, the current status of the workforce, the industry in question, the location of the business, the financial capacity of the business, and even the characteristics of the managerial staff come into play. Effectively, while the overall steps of pushing for improved employee engagement may be same, every business needs to approach those steps with individuality.
Unfortunately, this isn’t happening right now. While many businesses are looking to pursue better employee engagement, they’re doing so mechanically. We’re going to give you a series of steps or activities that you can undertake to improve employee engagement in your own business but we suggest that you take them as broad guidelines to be followed as opposed to as strict rules. Using these steps as a roadmap will be beneficial but if you try to follow them without using your own business insights, then they’ll fail.
Devise an Effective, Impactful, and All-Encompassing Mission Statement
Your business’s mission statement isn’t just a statement you put in your company profiles and marketing material. It should ideally define the way your company conducts all its actions. More importantly, the company mission should appeal to the employees and show them what it means to work for the firm in question.
In different words, an effective, impactful, and all-encompassing mission statement should tell your workforce why they should care about what happens to the company in the first place. Once they know why they care and actually start caring, you consider your employees engaged.
Get Rid Of Hierarchical Dominators
The traditional management wisdom is about controlling the workforce. The assumption behind this management philosophy is that the employees need to be directed and controlled because without strong instruction they will either be incapable of performing or will be uninterested in performing.
This management philosophy is largely a trait of the previous generation. The recent generations strongly and vehemently disagree with it. Thus, when they’re forced to work under an obsolete and out of date value system, they either rebel or become indifferent.
Therefore, if you’re looking to give a boost to employee engagement, one of the first things you should do is get rid of hierarchical dominators. These are individuals who value position and seniority over merit and this is something that will always rub talented youngsters the wrong way.
Thus, either giving these hierarchical dominators a chance to change or removing them from the organisation altogether is the way forward if you want to push for better employee engagement.
Change Your Perspectives about Your Most Valuable Resource
Throughout this article, you’ll notice a running theme – do away with the conventional and embrace the new. Another old adage is to see physical items as assets. The traditional method of evaluating a business is to see the value of everything physical it holds. This includes everything from physical premises to inventories and stocks.
In the past, people rarely ever viewed intangible things as assets. We’re, of course, talking about the employees. At the heart of why employee engagement has become a buzz-phrase, these days is that the workforce is the most important asset of any business.
A business may not have inventories, be operating out of a small office, or even be without enough clients but if it has employees that are willing and able then it won’t take a long time to acquire all those things.
It is this deduction that makes modern day workforce the most important asset for a business. Therefore, if you want to improve your business’s employee engagement metrics, then you need to change how it views its staff.
Focus On Making Work Fun
The idiom “all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy” is also out of date simply because it assumes work and play to be mutually exclusive. Who says that you can’t combine work and play? In fact, if you make working for your business enjoyable, then you would be promoting better employee engagement.
One of the first things that anyone notices about all the great companies mentioned earlier in this post is that they make working fun. It isn’t all that difficult to make work fun either. All you need is to give your employees a sense of self-worth, make them feel that they’re valued, and stop denigrating them at the drop of a hat.
It is a cultural change, essentially, for companies to move away from the “serious” business of work to the “enjoyable” work mode. Doing this will not only add creativity to how your business solves solutions but also improve your workforce’s overall productivity.
Emphasise the Need-Product over Product-Need Relationship
There are various reasons for which a new product is created. These include everything from refreshing the product line, needing another revenue stream, and competing with a specific competitor amongst others. While the reasons may vary, the method is where the key to employee engagement lies.
Based on conventional wisdom, many businesses take pride in creating a product and then generating a demand for it. This philosophy is inherently selfish because the primary beneficiary here is the company. Selfishness rarely ever supports engagement whether that is employee engagement or customer engagement.
What does support all types of engagement is having a product that actually helps people with something. If a product resolves a problem for people, then working on it can be fulfilling for employees too. As a result, there is engagement with the audience as well as with the employees. Resultantly, it would be better to create a product on the basis of need as opposed to creating a product and then trying to generate a need for it.
Create a System for Harnessing Intangible Qualities
Even after your staff starts becoming engaged and interested in the future of the business i.e. they start caring about what the business is doing, where it is headed, and how it is perceived, you’ll have to figure out a way to encourage them. This is similar to the retention step in the sales funnel except here you’re retaining your employees’ attention as opposed to your customers’.
This can be called anything but, in basic terms, it is engagement retention. It is showing the employees that their genuine desire to help the business and their sense of association and ownership are not only valid but actually appreciated. The only way to do this is to create a system that can harness all the intangible qualities these employees bring to the table. Whether it is out-of-the-box thinking, creativity, organisational skills, or people skills, when those qualities are utilised, the individual feels appreciated.