Everybody wants their employees to be more engaged. But often the question remains: Engaged to what?
You have a vision of what your company stands for and where you want it to go. But if you haven’t shared it with your team, they aren’t going to be able to jump on board – even if they really want to!
To increase employee engagement, you must first increase awareness.
Start with your own
We all have responsibilities in our organizations to contribute to the overall vision. Unfortunately, all too often we have no real idea what that vision is, much less how it connects to our role and subsequent performance. Many times, this is even true at the top.
In order to share your vision, you’re going to have to agree on what it is.
Get your leadership team together and clearly define (or clarify and redefine) the following:
- Organizational values – What is important in our organization?
- Organizational vision – Where are we heading?
- Organizational goals – What are we going to accomplish?
- Organizational objectives – What results are needed to hit goals?
- Organizational behaviors – What is required to hit objectives?
- Organizational tasks – What job description activities are needed to hit objectives?
After you’ve identified the components of the company vision, it’s time for the next all-important step: sharing them.
Communicate the company vision to everyone in the organization. Don’t just send a quick email. Do it in a way that is meaningful so your team truly understands the message. Help them become connected to the core of who you are as a company. Make them part of it. Tell them how they fit in.
This is where engagement starts.
After you’ve defined your vision and shouted it from the rooftops, the next step is tying it back to performance.
Each person plays a role in achieving company goals and making the overall vision happen. But make sure this isn’t just a pretty idea you’re talking about. Bring it to life by connecting roles to results, and make sure these things are tangible and measurable.
Start by understanding the goals of the company. These are what drive the subsequent objectives and tasks employees are expected to perform. Often, goals tend to focus on profitability, employee satisfaction, client satisfaction, and/or growth.
Once you have your organizational goals in place, you can move on to the next step.
Objectives are the results you want your employees to achieve, and they are based on the goals of the company.
But don’t just toss random objectives out there willy-nilly. Objectives should always be SMART:
- Specific – Who? (sales person), What? ($100K), When? (20XX)
- Measurable – Numbers, frequencies, timelines
- Attainable – Reasonable, yet challenging
- Relevant – Has to be a difference-maker
- Trackable – Must be monitored and reportable
Having SMART objectives in place will allow you to create an environment where your team not only understands their expectations but feels empowered to make them happen.
Getting it done
Now that you’ve defined the objectives, it’s time for everyone to get to work. And for that work to get done efficiently and with purpose, the following things need to happen:
- Job descriptions and tasks to be assessed and updated using the company vision, goals and objectives as the guiding principles.
- Employees need to clearly understand role expectations, duties, and performance metrics – and how they relate back to the vision.
- Supervisors should provide regular check-ins to track progress and provide guidance, accountability, recognition, and mentorship.
Regular, frequent check-in sessions are imperative to connecting and engaging with your employees. This time investment may seem cumbersome, but it will pay off. Because you’ve been monitoring and reviewing performance regularly throughout the year, the annual review process becomes simply one more review session.
Instead of a stressful meeting with a year’s worth of feedback and discussion crammed in over sushi, you’re merely reviewing things you’ve already discussed. There should be no surprises here-- unless you’re switching from sushi to sub sandwiches. And if diversity is built into your company vision, well, then you’re right on track.
Keep it going
It’s inevitable that your company will change over time. So should your vision, goals and objectives. Think of this as an ongoing process of definition, evaluation, and execution.
Check in with leadership at least annually to make sure your vision and behaviors are all still in alignment, and communicate continually with staff to reinforce who you are and what drives the organization.
Employees won’t engage with an organization they don’t know. Make sure yours is one worth committing to.
Need a better ROI on your corporate employee benefits? At Raffa, we’re not interested in finding you a policy solution for this year. We’ll create a long-term, employee benefit strategy designed to help you become an employer of choice. Want to build a better future for both your business and your employees? Get in touch with Raffa.
Photo by HQuality