Try engaging employees by aligning their passions and values with your organization and supporting their need to be a part of the community and have a heart at work. Two of my past clients, Fannie Mae and Washington Mutual offer several hours per month for each employee to provide community service and volunteer activities of their choice to help provide goodwill in the community. Having each employee choose their project provides them with more choice over their time instead of the organization selecting a neighborhood cleanup or other project where the hearts and heads of the staff may not be so concerned. Give your team choices and they will give you their best effort.
- Ensure that recognition is timely and immediately follows their accomplishment
- Praise individuals versus entire groups – it carries more meaning when each person is singled out for exactly what they did instead of telling the whole group ‘they done good’
- Be specific in your praise and highlight details of the accomplishment to show you noticed and understand what they did
- Write a note home to the team member’s family telling the family of the staff member’s accomplishments
- Give recognition that was actually earned to make it more meaningful and avoid giving acknowledgement before it was actually earned in order to motivate an employee
- Give a welcome party for a new team member instead of throwing them a party only when they leave
- Sincerity is a key ingredient to the success of any recognition gesture. Actions lose their effectiveness when done in a tone of insincerity and if you spell names incorrectly or get dates wrong.
- Employees feel most productive when they feel their contributions are valued and their feedback is welcomed by management.
- An unsupportive atmosphere can lead to reduced performance levels and higher turnover for business.
- Another poll by Maritz Research found dissatisfaction with the way employers offer recognition. The survey of 1001 adults nationwide found 34% of them do not feel they are recognized for their work performance in ways that are important to them. Only 40% felt they were adequately recognized.
- Other findings indicated 26% of employees are unhappy with the way they are managed and 32% intend to change jobs.
- Accountemps, an international staffing services firm conducted a recent worker satisfaction survey and found that 43% of executives from large firms believe that an employee’s relationship with their manager has the greatest impact on job satisfaction – far more than any other factor.
- 5 tips to combat the uninspired, unchallenged worker who is wasting away:
- Spot It – perform stress audits and appraisals regularly
- Prevent It – match the right people to the right job for a better fit with skills and challenges – screen new hires for a better fit
- Lead It – don’t allow this type of culture in your organization – be aware of prevention
- Confess It – take a look at your own behavior and role modeling and if your attitude is slipping
- Risk It – revisit your purpose at work and your definition of success and take some calculated risks to put you on the edge of vitality again
What are you doing to inspire and empower your employees? What is keeping them from walking? A Deloitte Millennial survey found that 70% of Millennials see themselves as working independently one day? What are you doing to encourage them to stay?
Attitude Equals Profits: Take Your Vacation Days to Improve Your Attitude and Improve Company Income
Attitude equals profits: satisfied workers drive company results according to the Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement who found a direct link between employee satisfaction and a company’s fiscal performance. I say, “Duh! – what have we been saying from anecdotal evidence and other research all these years!” It’s time to take your vacation days to improve your attitude. If you won’t take time off for yourself, then do it for your colleagues or for the bottom line of your organization.
At any rate, key findings of the study included:
1. High employee satisfaction is often the result of strong internal communications efforts throughout the organization.
2. Another satisfaction driver: internal competition among work teams to implement organizational goals.
3. Satisfaction leads to a status called “employee engagement.” Organizations with engaged employees have customers who use their products more.
4. Employee attitudes affect those of customers.
5. It is less expensive to foster employee satisfaction than it is to acquire new customers.
6. Organizational culture is the single greatest driver of employee satisfaction levels.
Here are some additional reasons to take your hard-earned and well-deserved vacation days:
- According to a recent survey of 1400 US workers, by www.Careerbuilder.com, more than one-third of workers will be taking work with them on vacation by either carting along their laptop, checking emails, or being in voice mail contact. 16% said their supervisors expected them to check in during their holiday and 19% said they would check in voluntarily. Of these workers, 61% said they would check their voice mail and email daily.
- In the same survey, 40% said a vacation of 3-5 days is enough to feel refreshed, 17% said they would take a shorter vacation or no time off this year, while 44% plan to take more than 5 days.
- Not surprisingly, half of the workers said they feel stressed at the office and 22% of these workers indicate some stress while taking time off because they have to check in. They also indicated that vacations were the #1 event they have postponed in order to progress in their careers.
Time to take a hard look at the hard questions and maybe experience some of the hard facts that workers are not all that happy. Better to know now and do something about it than to wait until they jump ship to find out in their exit interview how you screwed up. You are doing exit interviews, aren’t you?
Answer these questions provided by the Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement to see how your organization measures up.
- Are employees empowered to service customers at the highest possible level?
- Does the company recognize the role of employees in retaining customers?
- Is the performance of employees regularly measured?
- Are internal communications truly aligned with external marketing initiatives?
- Does the company’s overall corporate objective include human resource and motivation issues?
- Is the company committed to employee development and training?
- Are employees encouraged to provide feedback and given the tools to do so?
- Is employee feedback incorporated into planning and operations?
- Can the company demonstrate a link between people performance management and sales and profit?
In an annual survey conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management, here are the results concerning work-life programs in corporate America today:
- 57% of companies now offer flextime to their employees
- 56% have wellness programs
- 36% allow telecommuting
- 20% have on-site fitness centers
- 19% offer stress-reduction tips to workers
- 13% offer massage therapy
When employees feel included when they feel a sense of belonging to an organization, when their personal values and goals are in alignment with the organizational values. In order to gain a maximum sense of involvement and engagement in an organization, here are some elements that need to be present to foster dedication, retention, and productivity:
- Intrinsic personal interest and worthwhile work
- Challenge and stimulation
- Personal involvement
- Positive environment
24% of 1000 workers surveyed said they were chronically angry at work. The most common reason cited was a sense that their employers “violated basic promises” and didn’t fulfill “the expected psychological contract with their workers”. The anger problem remains mostly underground and workers simply lose interest in work and become lethargic and uncooperative. What is going on in your office to undermine expectations?
Ask burned-out employees (or less than enthusiastic family members) “What do you really want from your job/school/your life/this family?”. Write down 25 quick answers to help jostle them into thinking about their interests and desires so they can look for a way to pursue them through work/school/family life.
So how does your organization measure up? Are you incorporating these types of things into your environment? If you have other ideas that are working for you, let me know at Gaia@GaiaHart.com.