Create a Culture of Engagement

Yesterday’s Advisor covered the importance of an engaged workforce and how you can serve as an example to your employees. Today’s article offers tips for creating a culture of engagement.

By Gwen Sparks
How do you create a culture of engagement that drives innovation, maximizes results, and ultimately fosters a positive working environment? You start by building a plan and laying the foundation for it by including some basic but very important steps.
Your first step would be to find a meaningful way to measure how engaged your employees are to establish a baseline measurement. Your human resources experts should be able to provide you with examples of effective employee surveys and other mechanisms for initial engagement, such as holding an all-staff town hall or a team-building session. Once you know how engaged your employees actually are, you should be able to establish achievable goals with a manageable and realistic timeline. This will also help to determine your baseline of engagement in order to achieve success.
Starting with these basics will help build a stronger foundation:

  • Foster inclusion. Create a healthy work environment where everyone is treated equally. Employees need to know that they are respected, that diverse perspectives are valued and encouraged, and that they can feel free to share professional opinions—and that those opinions matter.
  • Listen to your employees. By listening to your employees’ concerns and taking their feedback seriously, you can then take the appropriate actions and outline steps to address those concerns. Employees will know that leadership is serious about bringing about change.
  • Encourage collaboration and brainstorming. By working together, employees share knowledge, problem-solve, and find innovative ways to meet goals. It also helps build camaraderie and trust between individuals, teams, and departments.
  • Transparent communication is essential. Employees want to believe that their leadership is trustworthy and has integrity. By regularly communicating company news and information through leadership (and not through the local news or the company rumor mill), you are embracing employees as your valued partners.
  • Put employees first. Invest in your people by offering training and development opportunities. Recruit talented and diverse individuals. Provide the tools and resources they need to be successful and produce top results. This investment helps create a sense of ownership in their individual success and the company’s bottom line.

Remember, your employees are an extension of you, your company, and your brand, and they influence how customers and stakeholders value your products and services. Initiating these basic principles for engagement is a wise investment in time and resources.