The right team, with the right attitude, can take a business from average to extraordinary. But unfortunately, if your employees aren’t engaged, motivated or happy, they can end up being your biggest source of problems instead.
In part three of this seven-part series, we’re looking closely at employee engagement. Just like any area of your business, you don’t have to do everything at once – you can work on it a piece at a time.
1. Create a shared goal or vision
The business goals and company vision shouldn’t be limited to the boardroom – let employees know what the business objectives are.
If employees know what they are working toward, they will all be pulling together in the same direction to achieve it. If there are no clear objectives, you can end up with everyone prioritising different things. Get rid of the guesswork and get everyone aiming for the same outcomes.
2. Give employees a sense of purpose
As well as letting employees know the shared goals, you need to let them know how their individual role contributes to the business's success.
If employees understand why they are doing something, they’ll feel a sense of purpose. And if they have a sense of purpose, they will be more excited and motivated about coming to work.
Let individuals know that their role is important – how does it fit into the bigger picture?
3. Promote collaboration
All too often, businesses take a siloed approach to work – individuals or teams focus solely on their tasks and objectives without understanding how what they do ties in with what others are doing.
This can lead to a disconnect between departments and even resentment when one department feels their contributions aren’t being recognised as much as another’s.
By encouraging teams to collaborate and work together, you create a more cohesive working environment. Employees understand how other roles support their role and how they can better support their colleagues. This leads to conversations around improvement that can benefit the whole business.
4. Encourage the sharing of knowledge and ideas
Employees can be great at learning new skills and finding new tools and techniques or ways of working. But all too often, they don’t share their knowledge or ideas with others.
Something that saves one colleague twenty minutes a day might not seem significant. But if it saved all colleagues twenty minutes a day, how much time would that save over a year?
Create an environment where colleagues share best practice, new tools they’ve discovered and ideas for improvement. When colleagues have been on external training courses, ask them to share any learnings that might benefit everyone.
5. Acknowledge the contribution of each individual
It’s easy to praise employees whose contributions are simple to measure, such as salespeople. But every employee has an important role to play and should be recognised for their contribution to the company's success.
Acknowledge the efforts of individuals. Let them know when they have done a great job. Thank them when they contribute to specific projects and give them credit for any ideas and suggestions they make that enhance the business.
6. Enable growth and development
Just because an employee is doing a fantastic job in their current role doesn’t mean they don’t have other ambitions or skills that aren’t being utilised.
Support employee growth and development, whether it’s enabling them to improve their existing skills, learn new skills or build on their natural abilities.
Look out for interpersonal skills, not just task-orientated skills – your future leaders could be right under your nose already.
7. Listen to your employees
We often hear managers complaining that all their employees do is moan. If this is the case for you, then maybe it’s time to listen.
Perhaps your employees can see things that aren’t working or have ideas for improvement. They might not be articulating it in the right way, but it doesn’t mean their insights aren’t valid.
Encourage employees to speak up about issues but ask them to suggest ideas for improvement too. Listen to their feedback and get them involved in the problem-solving process. Make them part of the solution.
How ISO 9001 frameworks can improve employee engagement
Too many businesses invest in expensive systems or develop convoluted processes that don’t work. These things usually fail because employees don’t engage with the systems; they skip steps or change the process to make it more practical.
Implementing ISO frameworks offers you the perfect opportunity to get your employees engaged with your business and the processes behind it. And by creating your processes as a team, you’ll find that you have:
- Systems and processes that employees will follow
- A reduction in process errors
- A happier and more productive workforce
- A better company culture
- More efficient and effective operations
Whether you decide to gain ISO certification or not is irrelevant. The important part is getting the systems in place that help you achieve the above.
If you’d like to find out more about how implementing ISO methodology can help you build a world-class business, with or without the certification, then get in touch.