Everyone knows your employees are key to achieving business success.
A working environment that inspires and motivates employees to do great work enables a business to thrive and enjoy greater success. Easy as ABC, right? Hmmm.
Creating an inspirational working environment where employees are engaged and motivated can be harder than you think. So how do you get everyone onboard and rowing merrily in the same direction?
Business leaders should use every opportunity to develop strong employee engagement.
A good start is to develop a business Purpose, Vision and company Values.
Although important, these are often overlooked in favour of operational priorities, here’s our ABC guide towards growing your employee engagement.
Your purpose — the WHY. Think about what drives you every day, the sense of purpose that helps you achieve your goals - it’s the same for the business.
Shifting focus for a minute, although not losing sight of what your business does and what your customers want, a purpose goes beyond economic considerations and provides the WHY your business exists.
It’s aspirational — it tells your employees how they can make a difference and lends a sense of meaning behind what they do in the workplace. A clearly defined purpose expresses the impact of your business on the lives of your clients and motivates and inspires your employees. It allows employees to connect and identify with what you want to achieve as a business.
It doesn’t have to be lengthy; a couple of sentences is enough and then keep your purpose at the forefront of everything you do.
Your vision – the WHERE. A company vision sets out your business direction and sits alongside your purpose. It says where the business is heading, and helps your team understand how they fit into the business journey.
Most business owners know where they want to take their business in the future. However, it can be hard clearly articulating this in a vision statement.
To help create your vision, think about your business – all the positives, what you’re proud of, how your business makes the world a better place.
Think about a timeframe for creating your vision. Think far enough ahead beyond the operational issues of the day, but not so far that it’s hard to visualise. Where you want to be in five years’ time perhaps…imagine the future and describe this in your vision statement.
For SMEs, a vision will cover the whole business. A good vision statement is clear, powerful, short, realistic and describes the best outcome for your business.
Make sure the whole team understand the vision and where they fit into achieving it.
Keep your vision alive by reminding employees regularly and showcase it as part of your marketing material and brand across your website and social media.
Revisit your vision over time, measure progress towards it and adapt accordingly in line with business growth.
Your Values - the HOW. Once you have your purpose and vision, establishing company values helps engage employees and develop the right culture for your business.
Values express to the outside world the beliefs and behaviours which sit at the heart of your business. Internally facing, values describe how you conduct your business and how everyone in the business interacts. This also helps describe your culture.
Employees normally want to feel part of something great. Employees who align themselves with your culture are likely to be more motivated, more engaged and therefore more productive. A business is more likely to achieve objectives, attract the right people and create a thriving working environment with a positive working culture.
Values describe ‘how things are done’, which can be outlined in four or five key words or short sentences.
Asking employees to help you establish a set of values is a worthwhile exercise.
Involving everyone creates collaboration, teamwork and engagement with the business.
Employees will think about the business on a different level which deepens their understanding of the business, your purpose and vision and sees their contributions being valued in return.
Once you have the input from your employees, weave their contributions into your own considerations, how you see things. A combination of both will develop a strong set of values to help deliver your business plan.
Once you have decided on the final company values, congratulations!
Everyone in the business should be proud of them, share them with the world.
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