Most leaders are good at pushing their organization forward. They’re able to hit their goals, and they might even be decent at profit. But, unfortunately, many leaders don’t prioritize their people. If a leader doesn’t know what to do with their people, morale will be low, people will leave, and the business will suffer. The cost is too great.
Attracting top talent, finding the right fit, and then keeping good employees and ensuring they’re happy and engaged is essential for a stellar company culture. It’s hard work, but the reward is greater.
How do you start transforming your company culture? Here are three strategies every leader can implement immediately to ensure employees are engaged and feel connected to the business mission.
- Offer time. People need an individual place to connect with their direct supervisor. Allow 30 minutes to an hour for one-on-ones, depending on the nature of the role and current projects. One-on-one meetings are ultimately about accountability and alignment. They’re a time for leaders to give focused time to their direct reports, discuss ongoing or new projects, and establish expectations moving forward. In the process, these meetings also provide the opportunity for the relationship and trust between a leader and their direct report to build.
- Offer affirmation. Everyone likes to receive recognition for their efforts. It’s something we all need, and verbal affirmation can be the easiest way to do that. When you notice a team member doing something good, catch them in the moment and tell them right away. Offering affirmation in front of others will also have a positive impact on surrounding team members. Alternatively, there’s nothing like a thoughtful, handwritten note. It communicates both that you care and took the time to say something sincere. You’ll receive more of what you affirm, so begin to slowly develop this habit. When you celebrate the wins and contributions of your team, they’ll push for more.
- Offer a vision. Employees want to be taken somewhere. They want to be part of a journey bigger than themselves. But if they don’t feel like they’re going anywhere, or they’re confused about where they’re going, employees disengage and slip into siloed work or team-specific strategies that are disconnected from the central mission. You can drive employee engagement by clearly communicating a compelling vision for your company—for your team, products or services, sales and marketing, and impact. When employees feel connected to the bigger picture and see themselves as contributors to the vision, engagement goes up and they’re less likely to start looking for a job elsewhere.
The key here is intentionality. It communicates to employees that they belong, they have a place, and that the organization is better because of them. Which of these culture-building strategies do you need to implement to ensure employees are engaged?