I am often asked what’s the best way to keep employees and keep them happy. As well as “How do you keep your teams so fired up?” I usually reply by first of all asking, “Why are your employees unhappy?” Followed by, “Do you know why people are leaving your business and why they’re so disengaged?”
Until you know what the problems in your organisation are no one can give you the answer or work on a solution. If you throw money at it, by increasing commissions, salary or bonuses and nothing changes you have a new problem, which is now more costly than before.
Here are some easy steps to help with your workforce engagement:
1. CORE VALUES
Does your business still embody it’s company values? Does your company have a set of values? Are your company values out of date? Could your people tell you what they are?
If your business is not following its core values it may be that your organisation is like a ship without a rudder. Everyone from top to bottom needs to know what the business stands for.
2. LOOK IN THE MIRROR
In terms of engagement, it starts at the top. Are you engaged? Does your team see you with your shoulders back, head held high and a smile on your face every day? Do you ever spend time with your team getting to know them outside of work?
It is imperative that your team sees you enjoying the ride, being fully focused and appearing in control, even in the tough times.
Your people will mimic what you do and more importantly, your demeanour will either give or take energy from them.
3. ERADICATE NEGATIVE INFLUENCE
Once company values and direction are agreed on, ensure everyone is working towards them. This really does mean everyone! If someone isn’t buying into the philosophy of the business when everyone else is, and you’ve worked hard to re-engage them, you must be strong and remove them. Negativity affects more people than you think and left unchecked will increase the disengaged proportion of a workforce and seriously affect productivity. Even if it’s your best salesperson be strong and remove them quickly. In most cases you will be doing both parties a favour!
Your employees don’t just want to know what’s going on; they love to know what’s going on! Communication is one of the most important things you need to do to keep your team engaged. People will follow a leader who opens up and shares what’s going on – good or bad – and does so with confidence and humility. When you take ownership of a problem, they will help fix it if you let them know what it is and include them in finding the solution!
5. ANTIQUATED MANAGEMENT
You can’t manage a company with the old ways of “I’m paying them, so they should perform to a high standard!” Or, “I’m paying them so I can manage them as hard as I want!” On the one hand, don’t manage your staff in fear of them leaving but on the other, managing like a Victorian schoolmaster won’t help either.
Push your team to attain targets in an inclusive but firm way. When they attain those targets celebrate with them. It is human nature to want to grow and develop, and your team will enjoy stretching to reach their goals, if they’re not, you need to look at the team and/ or the goals.
6. EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION
This is a key factor that contributes to increasing productivity in the organisation. Whatever the programme or scheme you put in place to reward and recognise your people, it must be agreeable to staff on all levels and in all departments. It can often be difficult to find a reward scheme that is equally fair across departments and levels, however, this being key to helping motivate your people, it is well worth the effort!
This guest blog was provided by Robert Lattibeaudiere
Business Strategist and High Performance Consultant for i2i (Impossible 2 Inevitable)
To this I have added my own unique approach for creating business cultures that have brought me success in sectors such as Telecommunications, the Travel Industry (Co-op Group), large contact centres, direct sales and Retail.
Latest posts by Robert Lattibeaudiere (see all)
- Why Do So Many Resent Success, Is It A UK Thing? - February 8, 2017
- Five Easy Steps To Onboarding New Employees - September 28, 2016
- Are You Inspiring Your Team Or Getting In The Way? - September 13, 2016