Encouraging employee engagement
Employee engagement is one of the key drivers of company productivity and success, but it is also one factor that cannot be bought or forced. Rather, it comes from an office culture that nurtures and motivates its employees.
Businesses with the right office culture will inevitably have workers that will advocate the brand, produce exceptional work, and will more likely stay for a longer period of time– given that they share the same values of the company and have the opportunity for career growth.
With that being said, employee engagement starts from the top: the foundations of good office culture come from the CEO and managers that fosters a sense of community: bosses that have little to no interaction with employees will have less engagement than ones that are open and consistently communicate with their team.
While culture is not coerced but rather happens organically, there are ways for managers to cultivate an encouraging environment where their team will strive to work towards their own and the company’s growth.
Recruit people with the same values
High engagement comes from employees that share the same values as their own. When their passions and drive are similar to that of the company’s, creating and achieving goals will not only be beneficial to the employee but to the company as well.
Employees that aren’t aligned or don’t agree with the business’s vision will not perform to their maximum capacity nor will they achieve goals with the right intentions.
With that, while this process is usually done in the recruiting phase, businesses can also brainstorm with their current employees on how to continue to promote their vision and culture among the entire team.
It’s innate for humans to feel a more of a sense of accomplishment when their efforts are acknowledged, especially by higher-ups.
An award from the manager or CEO increases motivation to continue to work towards improvement; awards could be verbal or physical such as a gift certificate or a printed award of appreciation.
Another example of this would be the Sales bell at Sprout– members of the sales team gets to ring the bell whenever they close a deal. A round of applause and cheering from the entire office follows, which is a small but impactful way of praise and encouragement, and in turn, boosts morale.
Teamwork makes the dream work
While the foundations of office culture come from the CEO and managers, it is survived by the rest of the team.
Thus, it’s important to foster camaraderie among employees to open lines of communication and in turn, increase productivity. When employees are friends with each other and their managers, they will feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts.
This way, they are able to collaborate with one another across any department, sharing their expertise and as a result, increase the company dynamic.
A good way to foster teamwork like this is through team building excursions as well as a buddy program for incoming employees. It is natural for new hires to be timid, but with a designated person to reach out to, it will be easier for them to communicate their thoughts and ideas in the office.
While bosses should always maintain the employer-employee relationship to some extent, employees should still feel like they are able to reach out to them for any query, thoughts, or suggestions.
Performance appraisals are common but are often one-sided and if not, can be a quite passive medium. An alternative option is the One-on-one Meeting; where employees sit down with any or all of their higher-ups separately and talk about any updates or concerns.
This way, both parties have each other’s undivided attention and will have an opportunity to voice out anything in full disclosure and without the pressure that an appraisal brings, as one-on-ones should happen often, regardless if there are any issues or for a mere catch up about work life in general.
Keep the culture fun
Work perks are a great way to boost office morale and engagement. Activities such as free lunch, gym memberships, or a game room will keep the week exciting, reduce work-related stress, and decrease absences.
These kinds of perks will also encourage advocacy of the company culture from employees, whether it’s in social media or word of mouth. This way, word about how your company is a great place to work will spread and will benefit your overall reputation as a business.
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