What would you call a worker who willingly goes the extra mile, who works with passion, who delivers great results time and time again, who exhibits almost fanatical customer loyalty and often has valuable contributions to make to the running of your business – you would call them ‘engaged’ – that buzz word in today’s employment environment.
Engaged employees are the best assets to nurture and grow within your business.
How can I achieve that I hear you ask? How can I evolve a team that is capable, competent and engaged? Simple!
Your workplace needs to be irresistible.
Relegating an engagement program as part of your core business strategy rather than viewing it as just a function of human resources is the first place to start. Engagement drives an irresistible workplace resulting in an almost immediate positive impact on your bottom line and employees wanting to stay.
Secondly, ask yourself if you have matched the right people with the right job? Is their work ‘meaningful’? People are driven by purpose, autonomy, and a desire to leave their mark on the finished product or concept. Work needs to be meaningful. Do each of your employees know how their work contributes to the corporate vision and the part that they play in the organisation’s success? Share it; openly and often.
Thirdly, look at the ‘management’; the day to day activities that make up your business. Are your goals clear? Freely shared? Creating shared simple goals creates alignment and encourages productive outcomes. Keeping goals achievable yet challenging, and rewarding milestones reached, ensures your team gains a sense of satisfaction for their efforts extended. Praise and reward their achievements and they are more likely to do more of the same.
Creating a flexible work environment must be the next focus on the journey to sustaining employee engagement. Everyone brings with them a complicated life! Enabling an environment which acknowledges and leverages the benefits of diversity and individualism, will see team members entrench themselves within the organisation. Flexibility in work hours, task variety and an adaptive environment have been critical measures within our business and seen many a valued employee stay.
The fifth element is the opportunity for growth; does this exist? I know I left my last job because there were no opportunities or avenues for advancement, or growth. We work for selfish reasons … the opportunity for career growth, enablement of personal goals, the chance to challenge ourselves, extend and learn. Businesses which provide their employees with ample opportunities for learning, development and progression are far more attractive than the ones that don’t. Driving your engagement strategy through individualised career plans is a must!
The final element and perhaps the most important, is leadership. There are four things that you as a leader should at all times aspire to demonstrate.
1. Know and share your company’s purpose. Understand how you serve your market, customer, investors, stakeholders and employees. Then communicate it; loud and clear!
2. Be transparent, Social media and the internet certainly assist us in this area. Giving and gaining honest feedback, acknowledging faults and weaknesses [where the customer was right and when you got it wrong!] goes a long way in establishing transparency and building brand loyalty.
3. Invest in your people. Grow them, develop them, listen to them. Actively invite them to share their ideas so that you can uncover what it is that makes them tick.
4. Finally, be inspirational! Followers are a gift; ensure that your words, communications and actions are worthy of your followers. The gift of leadership is the highest gift afforded to you by your team. You should take the time to ensure that you get it right.
If you want your business to be irresistible…. make your workplace culture irresistible.
Listen for what is working and listen even more intently to what is not. Enabling people to commit to and engage with the company vision will see your productivity and profits soar.
Engaged employees seamlessly integrate their work life with their personal. Work is never seen as a chore….. It is seen as a passion and a source of immense pride.
Don’t just survive….Thrive….Be irresistible!
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Our featured guest blogger
Tanya Halcrow is the Marketing Manager/PR/Customer Relations Manager at Bidfresh Wanaka, a division of Bidfood NZ Ltd, anational wholesale food distributor in New Zealand. With four divisions: Foodservice, Fresh, Logistics and Butchery, Bidvest provides the foodservice and hospitality industry with a complete range of food and non-food products, linking the distribution of 20,000+ products to over 15,000 customers.
With a background in accountancy Tanya specialised in working with property development companies forecasting and presenting financials to shareholding groups and stakeholders.
With a passion for all things food, Tanya has owned a catering and café business whilst running cooking demonstrations, writing, blogging. Her current role allows her to combine all the best attributes of her skills and passions.