Each office has an atmosphere that is created solely by the attitudes of the employees who work in it, regardless of the physical space itself. Think about it, when you’re around a familiar person, you can generally get a read on where they’re at emotionally because of their behavior or demeanor. These physical demonstrations influence their surroundings – being around a happy person brings about more buoyant emotions for the outside party and the inverse is also true. Regardless of the cause, human emotions escape from their place of origin and into the surrounding environment. In a business setting, certain types of emotions can result in positive or negative outcomes. Timothy R. Clark, the Founder and Chairman of TR Clark Associates, LLC, put it best, “Highly engaged employees make the customer experience. Disengaged employees break it.”
This quote alone should serve to inspire anyone running a business to place an emphasis on upgrading their workplace to increase employee engagement. However, trying to go about this based on a couple of sentences may not serve anyone well which is why we collected a variety of opinions on the matter.
Emphasize Your Value for Feedback
Melissa Rhodes is the CEO of Psychics1on1, a brand offering a brand new platform connecting you to the world’s most gifted Psychics, Mediums, Healers and Astrologers. She suggests making it well known in the office that the opinions of those working there are given weight.
“If you want to quickly alienate your workforce, then simply stop paying attention to them. This isn’t unique to a professional setting – it’s human nature. When we are ignored, we feel undervalued. After that, we don’t even try with the people that made us feel this way. Trust me, no person wants to spend their working hours around anyone who brings emotions that resemble this. Make it apparent to every single employee that you want to always hear their honest feedback. Engagement in other areas is sure to follow.”
Training for the Future
Logically, it makes complete sense to train a new hire to handle everything their position will throw at them. But preparing them has been seen to be fruitful. Furnishr is a business providing a furnishing platform with beautifully furnished room designs to be delivered and assembled in a single day. Their CEO, Michael Van, advises implementing something along these lines.
“There are jobs which, because of the industry they exist in or the responsibilities themselves, are not geared towards career advancement. Of course, there are plenty of potential hires out there who are happy to take this on. But that isn’t the best case scenario for your company as these people won’t elevate your company from where it currently stands. Employees want the ability to go above and beyond what they’re currently doing. Give them this opportunity and you’ll begin to see a jump in overall interest.”
SaneBox specializes in email management software. Their Head of Partnerships, Thomas Yuan, considers the physical and mental health of employees to be of critical importance to them and so it should be to the employer.
“In recent years, our society has witnessed a significant rise in the popularity of personal well-being. Detailed exercise routines, therapy, mediation and so much more are all a part of this. This is no knock against these things. Rather, it’s to show off that people have begun to understand just how impactful these can be for themselves. Companies would do well to come alongside their employees in this endeavor. This accomplishes two things. First, it demonstrates care for the people which should raise engagement. Second, healthier people make for effective employees.”
Kevin Callahan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Flatline Van Co., a brand offering premium parts and accessories for Sprinter and Transit adventure vans. He cautions others not to forget about spending time away from the intricacies of business occasionally.
“Any company that spends the entirety of its time focused solely on work will soon discover that their employees are burning out instead of staying engaged. Obviously, this is less than ideal. As the boss, it’s up to you to make sure this doesn’t happen. Put on a holiday party, start a fantasy football league, or put together anything your employees are interested in. Then it’s up to the employees. Like a horse and water, you can give your employees the opportunity to engage but only they can choose to do so.”
No matter who someone is, they appreciate a pat on the back for a job well done. Berry Law is a business providing legal services for Veterans. Their CEO and Managing Partner, John Berry, proposes introducing this on a more formal level.
“In my opinion, the term unnoticed work could be categorized as an oxymoron. Why? Well, the person who performed the work is well aware of the fact that their work has gone unnoticed. When this happens, any person on the receiving end of this will certainly shut down to some extent. Or at least begin to. As the leader, you should do everything in your power to recognize work well done and celebrate success publicly. The change in demeanor amongst the ranks won’t go unnoticed by you.”
SOLD.com specializes in an online FSBO platform that helps sellers to identify the best option to sell their home. Their Co-Founder and CEO, Matt Woods, believes the way an employee is first introduced to their new work life has great power over future engagement.
“When a fresh face steps into unfamiliar corporate territory, it can be a little more than unsettling. This discomfort can easily grow if it’s not addressed head-on the moment it appears. Seeing as the onboarding process is when that fresh face first interacts with your company, it will do you and them well to make it as engaging as possible. Laying out details is necessary, no doubt about it. But a well-rounded onboarding process functions more like a friendly tour guide rather than an instruction manual.”
While there are systems out there that can measure employee engagement, as a whole, it tends to be more of an abstract concept. Abstraction can be the cause of avoidance, but this should hardly be the solution with something as important as employee engagement. Thankfully, consultant and engagement speaker, David Zinger, highlighted the goals of employee engagement for anyone lacking clarity, “Create caring and robust connections between every employee and their work, customers, leaders, managers, and the organization to achieve results that matter to everyone in this sentence.”