3 Guiding Principles for How to Improve Staff Engagement
Take a moment to envision your organization in your mind. What is your gut feeling?
If there was optimism, keep it up! If you felt a little dread, it’s time to open up the hood of your work culture and figure out what’s going on. And if you feel this way, chances are you aren’t the only one who feels some anxiety about the state of your organizational culture. If you’re struggling to raise your approval ratings at work, here are some tips for how to improve staff engagement and get employee satisfaction back on the right track.
1. Define the culture
As we regularly discuss, having an identifiable culture is important. In fact, according to a Deloitte study, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success. Your culture is the DNA and backbone of the organization. The core values have to be consistent with your behavior. If your brand’s claim to fame is being warm and inviting, make sure you practice what you preach. Otherwise, you’ll be sending a mixed, and often discouraging, signal to your team.
2. Fuse personal and professional objectives
It’s nearly impossible for people to completely separate their work and personal lives. Wise leaders know that creating an environment in which the two priorities can coexist, rather than exist at odds with each other, is a key a way to improve staff engagement.
The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that personal values have the biggest impact on decision making in work. Further, millennials want companies to exhibit a strong sense of purpose beyond a simple profit motive. Therefore, your role as a leader is to tap into what motivates employees and see how their work contributes to the greater organizational, and often societal, purpose. Employees must know what they are working toward and why their work is meaningful.
Another way to do this is to make an asserted effort to understand what is important to your employees in their personal lives. If your team likes to volunteer, find a cause. If they love animals (who doesn’t?), plan something animal-inspired. Whatever the case may be– learn what resonates with your people and create innovative ways to engage people “on their level.”
3. Treat employees like people
One of the CultureIQ values is “Great people over great resumes,” which means that we appreciate the whole person rather than what they look like on paper. In other words, employees should not be treated like walking resumes or performance reviews, but rather people.
Think about the positive relationships in your life, and consider what elements make them so successful. Chances are words like support, trust, and respect come to mind. It should be no different when it comes to your team relationships. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management released a report stating that “respectful treatment of all employees” was the number-one contributor to job satisfaction. And “trust between employees and senior management” was the second. It sounds simple, but it can be surprisingly easy for leaders to lose sight of amidst all of their responsibilities.