A common challenge encountered by growing businesses is keeping their employees motivated and excited about business goals. For many employees, a job can be just that – a slog they have to get through between 9 and 5 every weekday. You, as a business owner, have the power to change this perception and create a business that employees are excited to be a part of. This article addresses how any business owner or manager can foster a company culture that encourages employee participation.
Promote your company purpose
As a business owner, you have a deeper purpose for your business than to simply sell a product or provide a service. You consider your target demographic, product quality standards and many other factors in each decision you make about your company. Take some time to narrow down what you do and why you do it, then share this information with your employees.
Encourage employees to think about how their job advances the company vision
Your employees want to do work that matters. This desire can be fulfilled by asking employees to align the purpose of their job title with your company’s overarching business strategies.
One effective way to really bring home how each job affects the overall company goals is to create a task for every employee to discuss the overall vision of your business with their leadership and come up with specific goals for each job title. This action can be done in a single departmental or team meeting.
Keep up employee engagement
Engaging employees is a delicate balance. While you want to keep employees working efficiently, they also have more to offer than their labor. Many businesses are grown and built by engaged employees coming up with concepts, providing honest feedback and reporting immediately when something has gone wrong. This type of engagement is encouraged in many ways – through periodic surveys, an open door policy, a company-wide reporting system, and more. Decide which options are best for your business and encourage your employees to engage in growing the business in every way that they can.
Instead of focusing on tasks, concentrate on responsibility
The best employees want to take on responsibility. They are engaged and want to contribute to the business. Taking responsibility isn’t just loading someone down with additional tasks. The Oxford dictionary has two definitions of responsibility that cover what we mean here. They are:
“The state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.”
“The opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization.”
Employees that really own their positions want to have the authority to do their job without constantly checking in with the boss. This autonomy has its drawbacks, though. Namely, when something goes wrong the same employee must be able to be accountable. By giving employees appropriate independence and enforcing accountability, you are providing a better work environment and allowing your staff to get excited about their projects.
Get your managers on board
Managers and team leaders are in the most appropriate positions to help employees forward company goals. Encourage the leadership of your company to work with their teams on creating the productive company culture you want to build. Another point that your team leaders should concentrate on is sustaining this culture once it has been developed. New hires should be brought on board and included in his or her own goal creation meeting once the probationary period of employment is over.
Recognize and reward high performance employees
Those staff that perform above and beyond expected levels are more valuable than gold to your business. Be sure to publicly recognize top producers and reward these employees. You may not be able to provide a huge bonus, but rewards can come in many forms. Discover what is important to that particular employee and work out ways to encourage and support those activities. This may mean the employee deserves a new position, more autonomy, additional 401K contributions, off-time with the family, public recognition or any number of other rewards.
Provide ongoing coaching and training
One of the best ways to build employee loyalty and encourage better performance is to continue the employee’s education. This may be as simple as giving an employee a few hours to attend a webinar or may be as complex as bringing in a consultant or company-wide speaker to provide training on specific aspects. As your employees learn and grow, so will your company expand.
We know that your employees are the backbone of your business. That’s why we provide consulting services that cover HR and staffing services along with executive coaching. Find out how we can work with your team to foster engagement and build your company culture. Contact us today.