What NOT to do about it
There’s a lot written about how to increase employee engagement. Some good, a lot bad. Mark Ritson says it well:
When your employees get your employer brand brochure and sit through the awful 20-minute employer brand presentation you devised (complete with role play session) it kills the very thing inside them that you originally intended to inspire.
I’ve experienced this a number of times, I’m sure you have too. I’ve also been the victim, I’m sorry, I mean been the audience for a rebrand where a 200 strong open plan office turned up for work on Monday to find it had happened as a surprise. There were balloons hanging from the ceiling in brand colours. Everyone had a reusable coffee cup, some pens and a notebook on their desk.
Also, a ‘core values’ project run by HR and not involving any other employees. The resulting output was a selection of framed graphics depicting words inside different coloured puzzle pieces. They were also printed on all the mugs in the kitchen. Words like ‘innovation’, ‘ownership’, ‘teamwork’…and two more abstract nouns that I can’t even remember!
In the same vein as Mr Ritson’s comment: if a rebrand is a surprise, how on earth are you going to ensure employee engagement? And, if you publish random, overused nouns, obviously chosen by the board, as your core values how does this differentiate you from your competition? With unemployment at an all-time low, it’s a candidate’s market.
My favourite values
1 Be your own customer
2 Empower individuals
3 Design is not a luxury
4 Good work takes time
5 Optimise towards ideals
1 It is our nature to innovate
2 Nike is a company
3 Nike is a brand
4 Simplify and go
5 The consumer decides
6 Be a sponge
7 Evolve immediately
8 Do the right thing
9 Master the fundamentals
10 We are on the offense – always
11 Remember the man (The late Bill Bowerman, Nike co-founder)
1 Humbleness and willpower
2 Leadership by example
3 Daring to be different
4 Togetherness and enthusiasm
6 Constant desire for renewal
7 Accept and delegate responsibility
What TO do about it
This isn’t a short-term thing, you need to make it a central part of your strategy, because without it, you’re in trouble.
The stats show that people don’t leave companies. They leave bosses. So, if it’s leadership and culture that drives engagement, start by looking at your leaders. Give them the support that they need. Are they ready to lead? If not, help them.
- Set goals for engagement levels – You do this for other parts of your strategy, this shouldn’t be any different. For example, measure customer satisfaction, employee retention, employee attendance
- Identify incidental managers – Support these guys: make sure they have enough training and ongoing support to be able to become the leaders you need them to be
- Set Achievable goals – Make sure that everyone’s objectives are realistic, clear and aligned with the business’s goals, so they see their contribution (click here to find out how)
- Ask – Survey your employees on a regular basis. Do this before you start any kind of employee engagement campaign. It’s vital to measure where you are before you change things
- Act – Too many businesses ask the opinions of employees and then don’t act on the results. This is vital to increasing a culture of trust and agility. Act and report back
- Make communication easy - Talk to them where, when and about what they are interested in (click here to find out how). Shop around for the right platforms e.g. Slack or Discourse.
- Give rewards – Don’t let good work go unnoticed. A thank you speaks volumes and a reward raises awareness of the great level of work that has been achieved. It celebrates it.
- Recruit better – By this I mean, pay more attention to your recruitment process: branding, communication, interview skills. Getting the right person is more important than getting the best person (save £50k by clicking here).
Change things now and get it right for 2019. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and a free half hour consultation.