Do you ever wonder why you can't seem to find good employees? Or why the good ones seem to be working "over there"? It may be hard to hear this - but the employee engagement in your business is YOUR job. How do you engage an employee and make them want to work for you, work harder for you, or even simply to care?
There have been studies on what an employee is seeking from the job and what the employer THINKS the employee is seeking from the job. In most cases, the employee does not stay because of the money - they are there for a multitude of other reasons including the culture (it's a fun place to work), the location (it's easy to get to), and the people (management or co-workers). If your employees aren't staying, maybe your business is lacking in the culture or people side of things.
Outlined below are points taken from Patrick Lencioni's book "The Truth about Employee Engagement - the 3 Signs of a Miserable Job" along with some of my own thoughts on what makes a business great!
How do you build culture in your business?
Well, start with caring. That's right - YOU, the business owner, need to care about your employees. Why would someone work so hard for you if you don't show them respect and caring? We've already established your employees are not there because of the awesome pay (or the average pay). Therefore there stands to reason that your employees could be retained with something that costs you very little other then time. Take an interest in your employees' lives - find out about their wives & husbands, children and pets. Get to know their names and what the employee is planning for holidays or weekends/days off. Do they have hobbies? Have they expressed an interest in some new thing? Your employees are dropping you hints all day long - pay attention!
Anonymity is exactly the feeling your employees have when you don't respect or care for them. If they are just a body to do the work the business needs and you don't acknowledge them as individuals beyond the doors of the business - these great people stay lackluster and feeling anonymous.
Next step is to take care of irrelevance. YOU need to help your employee understand why they matter and who they matter to. Ok, so is this a little touchy-feely for you? If you can't bring yourself to take these steps, then please be prepared to do a LOT of training!
Irrelevance is simple - sit down with your employee one day and figure it out together. Does he make a difference to the customer? Well if he's in a customer facing role he sure does make a difference in their lives! But what if you have an employee who doesn't directly face customers? To who does her work matter? She may make a difference in her manager's work life if she is an assistant or a sub-manager. And to who does the manager matter? That's an easy one - the manager makes a difference in the staff's life!
Now that you've got your employees feeling better about themselves and knowing whose work life they affect - you need to ensure they can measure their own success. The business measures outcomes all the time and that is very much needed - but employees have a difficult time relating the business goals to the work they do throughout the day. Sit down with your employees and determine how they can measure their own success on a daily basis. Your customer facing employee - how can he measure his success today? If the culture in your business is Fun, then maybe he can count how often he had his customers laughing. If your employee's job is to pack shelves, then maybe her measurements can be how many shelves she has filled, organized and faced.
Ensure this process is completed along with the employee - if you hand down the decree then the employee will not buy into the program! Why would they, it is just one more incident of their manager not caring enough about them to ask for their thoughts. Don't be that manager - make it matter!
What are the benefits to boosting employee engagement?
What can employee engagement do for your business? When your employees are engaged they will start taking ownership of their jobs, positions, tasks and attitude. When your employees start taking ownership, the sales and income will be equally responsive.
Applying these concepts in McLennan
If every business in McLennan (or your town) were to apply these concepts, employees would be more engaged, customers would be better served and the health of the business community would benefit.
Think about it, but then go out and action it!