5 Tasty Ingredients for a Stupendous Employee Engagement Sandwich
Employees are the bread and butter of successful organisations. But we all know you can’t make a sandwich out of just bread and butter. The perfect sandwich needs a few ingredients – at least some sort of filling, and maybe even a smidgen of sauce.
Employee engagement is no different – there’s a whole host of ingredients needed to give it just the right flavour and impact. Of course, we’re not talking ingredients of the ham, onions or ketchup kind. We’re talking about the inedible ingredients which will really create connections between your company and the people who make it tick.
So you’re the head chef of your company, and you’ve got to find all the right ingredients at the right consistency and balance to get the most out of your employees, and inspire and engage them to perform at their best to really boost productivity. There’s just one problem – you can’t simply wander into a book shop and grab an ‘Employee Engagement’ recipe book off the shelf. And that’s because there’s no set formula to employee engagement.
Every company, and every employee, is different, and engagement can be heavily influenced by the make-up of your workforce, your company’s unique culture, and the needs and desires of individual employees. What works for some might not work for others. There’s only guidelines – and you have to pick and choose the ones that will work for your company and employees. However, it’s worth remembering that some key elements will impact engagement more than others.
So, what are some of the best ingredients for making a mouth-watering employee engagement sandwich?
- Communication. The big question everyone wants to know in the workplace is ‘what on earth is going on here?’. The importance of frequent, clear communication can’t be overstated enough. Words, pictures, emojis… there are so many different ways of communicating. So no matter which strategy you choose – email, presentation, face-to-face – make sure you communicate often enough that employees know what’s going on, but precisely enough so they don’t get bogged down in unnecessary information.
- Having a clear vision. Another big question on everyone’s minds in the workplace is ‘what on earth is all this for?’. It goes without saying that if we don’t have an obvious reason for doing our jobs, we won’t feel connected or engaged with them. Every organisation has a purpose – if they didn’t, they wouldn’t exist. The problem is, we can sometimes take that purpose for granted, and let it slip out of mind. But if it’s always front-of-mind, and communicated clearly and inspirationally, employees will feel tied to the organisation, and more inclined to dedicate themselves to furthering that vision.
- Involving employees. Employees are often referred to as an organisation’s best ‘asset’. But is that the right choice of word? Employees aren’t working drones – they’re people, with ideas and creativity. And they like to feel that they’re integral to their organisation. You never know when a spark of unique genius will strike – and it may just come from the mind of an employee. And saying ‘thank you’ every now and again certainly wouldn’t go amiss.
- Providing development opportunities. We’re living in a world now where staying with the same organisation for many years isn’t the naturally done thing. It’s career before company. More and more employees are seeking chances to develop their skills and knowledge, but they’re not entitled – they’re empowered. So providing these opportunities, and encouraging them to spread their wings, is a great way to put more smiles on faces, and prevent employees from fleeing the fort.
- Visible Felt Leadership. As well as wanting to feel involved, employees also like to know they’re cared about and respected. And a leader who rarely (or never!) shows themselves is basically implying that this means nothing to them. A true leader is a team builder who gets down to the ‘coal face’, forging meaningful connections with employees and providing support and direction.
Employee engagement was a primary objective for many business leaders in 2016. And that’s only going to continue. We’re starting to really wake up to the true impact it can have on productivity and performance – so perfecting these ingredients now could prevent a lot of problems down the line.
And a free sandwich or two likely wouldn’t be rebuffed, either. 🍔
PRINT® offers leadership development programmes to help you really get the best out of your employees. If you’d like to discover your Unconscious Motivators® or find out more about how PRINT® could engage your employees, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit our website and social media (Facebook: @discoveryourprint, Twitter: @Discover_Print, LinkedIn: Print Profile Ltd) or sign up to our mailing list. If you’d like to bring PRINT’s benefits to organisations and businesses, we offer Accreditation courses enabling in-house coaches and learning & development professionals to become certified PRINT® coaches.