“Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company.”
When your employees feel emotionally involved with your organization, they are much more likely to be engaged, and to stick around. How do you help your employees feel like an integral part of your company? By giving them the visibility they desire and deserve.
Here are ten ways to better familiarize your employees with your leadership team and provide them with the higher profile they seek.
- Give your team members the opportunity to lead company meetings. As a manager, your employees get to hear you all the time. Why not shake it up a bit and hand the responsibility to someone else? Let the meeting leader know the basics of WHAT to cover in the session, but don’t tell them HOW to do it. Give them the flexibility to use their creativity, expertise, and (dare I say) fun, to share information with the rest of the team. Not only does this give you a break, but it may also highlight leadership potential that you did not know existed.
- Have a “Show and Tell” Day. Remember “back in the day” when you got to share your interests with your schoolmates? Why not bring that concept into the workplace? Set aside a particular time when employees can share their best ideas, tools, and information that they believe will benefit the company. No, you don’t have to act on every concept presented – just make sure to implement some of the new ideas – and make sure to recognize appropriately the people whose ideas you use.
- Assign a “buddy” to new hires. Starting a new job is a stressful experience. The new employee doesn’t know anyone or anything and may feel uncomfortable. Tenured employees may not take the time to get to know this “unknown” person, as they are busy, and already have their friends in the workplace. By assigning one or a few team members to invite the “newbie” to lunch, it eases the transition and starts to form relationships right off the bat.
- Start a company newsletter or, if you already have one, make sure to feature “Employee News.” Acknowledge employee wins, successes and personal victories. Don’t just wait for employees to submit their news. Specifically, reach out and ask them, “What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this month.” Publish client “kudos” letters and highlight as many employees as possible each month. Spread the love – make sure to include everyone over time.
- Hold a monthly “Birthday Breakfast” with the CEO. Invite employees who are celebrating their birthday to a monthly informal get-together to share ideas, ask questions and talk about whatever they want to discuss. It doesn’t take being on an episode of “Undercover Boss” for the CEO to find out what is going on in the trenches. This level of transparency also helps the employees to understand what is happening “behind the scenes.”
- Show off your people in pictures. Take pictures at company events and share them on bulletin boards or a presentation “loop.” Put pictures of each department in your lobby so your clients can see the faces behind their work. Make a “Pet Picture” wall in the lunch room. Include employee event photos in your company newsletter. Create a photo book for each employee as a gift after a company event.
- Create a “Company Culture Book.” Each year, the online shoe retailer, Zappos puts together an entire collection of employee submissions answering the question, “What does the Zappos culture mean to you?” By taking the time to find out what your staff thinks of your organization, you’ll know whether or not you’re on the right track. You’ll also give employees the opportunity to share their thoughts, and to share these ideas while reminding your team that your company is a pretty great place to work.
- Schedule one-on-one time with your employees. Whether you take a different employee out to lunch each week or schedule a thirty-minute coffee break onsite with your team members, give you and your team the chance to get to know each other. Create a safe environment for them to share what’s going on with them and find out what you can do to help.
- Randomly assign seating at company meetings, so employees in different departments have the opportunity to sit with each other. Because employees who work together have a tendency to want to hang out only with each other, you’ll be mixing it up and helping people make new connections across departments. Think of how much more productive your employees will be when they get to know and have a better understanding of what other departments do and how they do it.
- Let your employees make the final decision. When you are your team are working together on a project, let the project leader make the final determination of how to get the job done. In doing so, you show your team that you trust them and their judgement. Buy-in will be higher because your staff has a stake in the successful outcome of the task.
When you give your employees the opportunity to share in the spotlight, they feel important. When they feel important, they work harder. When they work harder, they are more productive. And when they are more productive, your organization is more profitable. Everyone wins – and you’ll keep your top talent from becoming someone else’s.
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