Leadership & Strategy | August 15, 2016

Improve Company Culture: Ways to Engage Your Team

Efficiently using assets is the quickest way for your business to fatten its bottom line and improve profitability. Often, business owners invest in new technologies or hire consultants to draft a plan for making the operation more efficient. However, these attempts are much less effective than finding ways to engage your team.

Simply put, employee engagement is the level of enthusiasm and commitment an employee has to his or her job. An engaged team increases productivity, improves morale, and reduces turnover because they are excited to be at work and want to contribute to the success of your organization. Disengaged employees are a drain on energy in the workplace, casting a negative cloud over the entire staff.

Engage Your Team: 4 Simple Tips to Improve Culture

1. Seek Employee Input on Incentives

Everyone enjoys recognition for a job well done, but when your rewards don’t match what employees want, your attempts at recognition feel hollow. The workforce is changing, and today’s employees are less motivated by cash incentives than ever before. When you start an incentive program, ask employees how they would like to be rewarded. You might find their preferences include taking a long lunch on Fridays after meeting sales goals or Monday morning donuts when they hit projections. In either case, you offer the right reward for the work.

2. Provide Consistent Feedback

Lack of communication leads employees to feel devalued, and the longer they feel this way, the more disengaged they become. Employees want consistent feedback to let them know what they are doing well and what they can improve upon. If the only feedback an employee receives is his or her annual performance review or an angry email, their enthusiasm will drop rapidly. To give employees more consistent feedback, all you have to do is talk to them. Schedule meetings with employees several times a week, discuss their performance, and let them air their grievances. You will gain insight into the morale of your team, and make your staff feel appreciated.

3. Update Your Mission Statement

The mission statement is your message to the world about what kind of company you want to be and how you will accomplish your goals. When employees are able to internalize the mission statement and see it as a part of their work efforts, their commitment to the organization becomes stronger. All too often, mission statements are written, forgotten about and kept in a dusty drawer for 20 years. One of the best ways to engage your team is to have them contribute to the mission statement. Ask for their feedback and input; even consider adding a few low or mid-level employees to the group who writes the statement.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Celebrate Success

Reaching milestones or exceeding expectations are reasons to be excited, and it is important to expose your employees to the success of your business. Daily, weekly, and monthly goals all give employees something to strive for and they offer feedback on a regular basis. You don’t have to throw an elaborate party when you set a new monthly sales record, but allowing your staff half an hour to enjoy a piece of cake and some time to relax after achieving a milestone helps build a positive and engaged workforce.

As you implement ways to engage your team, realize that change does not happen overnight, but if you create a plan and stick with it, you will see positive results in the long run.

Gain Momentum with Relationships

Engaging your team is only the first step. Keep communication open with these 5 tips for building strong relationships at work.