Have you ever been a part of a disengaged workplace culture? The lack of trust, lower productivity, poor attitudes and general grumblings are enough to make anyone concerned. Especially if you’re the manager or business owner. Allowing your workplace culture to stay like this for too long can be detrimental to business. Poor attitudes and productivity lead to poor output, hurting sales and client relations alike.
So what can you do about it? Before it affects your bottom line? Here are ten tips we recommend you have in place, to support more engagement from staff, and a positive and supportive workplace culture in your business.
1. 360 degrees of Feedback/feedforward
360 degrees literally means, feedback or feedforward is taken from every direction. It includes those who directly report to an employee, their peers, the person/s they report to and a self-evaluation of themself. Why take it from all angles? Whilst it’s a great opportunity to get feedback on multiple areas of the employees work (from above, from below, and those they work alongside), it’s also a great opportunity to allow your staff to have their say. To feel their opinions are valued.
2. Explain the WHY
I’ve been in situations before where the why wasn’t explained, and the results were easily related back to this. When our employees don’t understand the reasons behind what they are doing, how can we expect them to be fully invested in what they are doing? Share the why with them, so that you can share the passion, allow them to fall in love with it so that the why becomes a part of the reason they come to work each day.
Being crystal clear on the vision and purpose of the business, from the day you advertise, will ensure you attract those that are right for your business. Those that alight with your purpose, and are committed to your vision.
3. Inclusiveness and support
What is the reason they come to work each day? Have you allowed them to be part of the big picture? Include them so they feel valued, and support them to understand their role in the big picture. Trust them with their role, and support them to stay on track.
4. Set clear expectations
If you want your staff to achieve goals, set goals that are clearly defined, attainable and aspirational. Allow them to be a part of the goal-setting process, because often they will have ideas on what they want to do to support the business in their role. Ensure they have realistic KPI’s and they understand how their everyday role relates to them. Make all goals SMARTER.
5. Some work, some play
Often we get caught up in the day-to-day running of the business, and the thought of having to include in some non-billable time feels like a strain. But it’s crucial to create an environment your team feel safe and happy. You want them to enjoy coming to work, so that they continue to come! Incorporate some fun in there, whether it’s team building, learning and development, or social gatherings, it’s a great way to make staff feel valued. Extra tip: staff on the floor level want to get to know the management team. So make sure you mix up the levels so that they can interact with those they may not talk to every day. Remember – managers and staff are all human beings, you’ll find some kind of commonalities if you put them in a space together.
6. Reward and Recognition
This one is huge. Quite possibly one of the most important, and often one of the most under-done. Take note of the small things that happen. Shout about the big achievements. Both for the business and the individuals. Your team are going to be excited, if as a whole they achieve business goals. So tell them when they do! And when an individual team member does something outstanding, recognise that too. Appreciate the work they do for you, because without them, what would you have?! Have a specific reward and recognition plan in place, so that you know how and when it will happen.
7. Hands On Management
I’m a big believer in eliminating the gap between levels in a hierachy. Though I know this might not always be practical, I think it is possible that every once in a while, everyone can get their hands dirty to make the work happen. Why? Because you earn respect as a manager, when you show that you’re willing to do the tasks that you set the team also. It’s about team work, and getting the work done together.
8. Address the Elephants
I know many of us don’t like conflict, and others create too much of it, but I’m going put this one on the table. Address those elephants in the room. Always. The sooner the better. Don’t let issues slide under the door mat. Because the longer they’re left, the more your employees start to resent you for it. Reframing conversations is a great way to address these. Instead of discussing the issue, discuss how things could be done even better.
9. Community engagement
There’s nothing quite like community engagement to make staff feel like they’re a part of something bigger than just the dollar. Whether it’s a fundraiser, an event, or voluntary work, find a way to show your team your social responsibility.
10. Idea sharing and Collaboration
Make it possible for anyone to suggest an idea. A recommendation for change, for innovation, for movement. All your employees see the business through different lenses, at different angles, and the more you allow yourself to be open to these different views, the more likely you will come across something truly amazing. When you’re creating new processes, include those people who are involved in using the process. When you’re introducing new products or services, test the ideas out on your employees.