Founders and leaders eat, sleep, sweat, and cry their life’s work. Their product or business is their passion. They are completely dedicated, always developing new strategies and endeavouring to secure a better foothold in the marketplace. They worry about productivity and making ends meet. They’re proud of what they’ve accomplished.
At the end of your neverending day, you just want the marketplace to feel the same way that you do:
This business is unique.
This business is worth investing in.
This business adds critical value.
This business deserves acknowledgment and accolades.
Now remove the word “business” from the statements above, and replace it with the word “employee”.
Although it may not seem like running a business and employee engagement are linked, the two were joined at birth. If you hire people to help you reach your business goals (which you do), they go hand in hand. Employee engagement opportunities emerge when you think about your business and your people at the same time:
“I want people to be excited about my product/service, and I want people to be excited about working here.”
“I want to be a leader in the marketplace, and I want to be a great leader.”
We all know that unhappy and disengaged employees do not perform to the best of their ability. They’ve checked out. They show up to work, but they aren’t actually “present.” By not making the efforts to recognize and engage your employees in a thoughtful and consistent manner, you’re essentially sabotaging your business.
Now that I’ve made you feel awesome or horrible, I have good news (I swear): It doesn’t take much to engage your employees. No blood, sweat, tears or concierge service. No catered lunches or gym memberships, although those are nice. To engage your employees and make them feel valued you only need forethought, interest, authenticity and humour. You don’t have to spend one red cent (especially since they’ve gone out of print) to make someone feel invested in. You just need to be sincere.
Consistently recognize the work your people do. Thank them because you appreciate them for being dedicated to your cause, and for helping your business to succeed. Consider their ideas and let them know when you implement one. Care about their well-being when the hours are long and the stress is high. Let them know they matter. Work as hard at employee engagement and appreciation as you do at building relationships with clients. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Academy Award-winners thank the folks that got them to a single point in time. “I’d like to thank the little people that got me here!” Employee engagement celebrates the people that show up every day to take the journey with you – not just when you succeed.