Organizations like Starbucks and Facebook must be doing something right. If you look inside these companies, their employees are not only loyal to the organization, but they have also become brand ambassadors. At QBS, our leadership believes that employee engagement – which includes satisfaction, autonomy, a sense of ownership and more – is one of the most powerful internal motivating factors that leads to long-term business success.
Engaged employees enhance internal culture, are more productive and have a strong commitment to providing exceptional service. These team members believe they are an integral part of the organization, which drives them to promote and market their employer’s company to friends, family members and other influential members of the community.
But, as it turns out, not every company can provide free snacks and sleeping pods like Google or unlimited vacation like Netflix and LinkedIn. So what can you do as a leader to foster high levels of employee engagement?
Know & Share the Vision
The vision of an organization isn’t a short-term thing. It is the underlying story and “rallying cry” that each member of your organization should know and be moving towards. It’s important to reiterate and reinforce your vision often. Don’t forget the power of leading by example. Create excitement among employees on what drives the organization and what you can all achieve together.
Individual employee goal-setting is frequently overlooked in smaller companies (and sometimes, even in larger ones). No matter your company size, you aren’t helping your team members or your organization if you aren’t helping employees understand and measure their value now and into the future.
Encourage New Ideas & Ask for Feedback
Although managers say they have an “open door” policy, this isn’t always the reality. If you want input and feedback from your team, create an easy way for them to share their ideas, obstacles and even personal struggles in a safe environment. Really “be open” to the ideas of others – provide real, intentional opportunities for your team members to open up with you.
Empower and Give Ownership
Empower your employees to make decisions for the benefit of the organization and for clients. Giving them autonomy will help to build trust and create enthusiasm.
Even though this might sound simple, all too often it is overlooked by managers. You don’t need to wait until a mid-year or year-end review to recognize your employees for doing exceptional work. Be intentional about celebrating employee victories on an ongoing basis. Take it one step further and encourage peer-to-peer recognition during meetings or team nominations.
Some of the above ideas may sound “simple”, but it does not mean they are easy. With this in mind, don’t feel as though you must implement everything at once! Make small steps and take strides to incorporate these tactics over the next 3-6 or 6-12 months and watch your employees evolve into something even stronger – engaged employees and a cohesive team.