Strong leadership is the springboard that propels a business forward. Indeed, a company with inadequate guidance is similar to a rudderless boat lost in an ocean of competition and unpredictable market trends. Good leaders steer the organisation into the right path, motivating individuals to work together to attain a common goal without encroaching on their self-autonomy and creativity. Not only does this foster robust working relationships and mutual trust from the top down. It also helps build a healthy organisational culture where everyone feels valued and connected. More importantly, instilling positive values in the company increases employee engagement. And its benefits are countless.
Research conducted by analytics and advisory company Gallup shows that highly engaged employees have a 21% increase in productivity. The study also reveals a 41% decrease in absenteeism and 59% less turnover in organisations where the staff is fully engaged. Furthermore, an engaged workforce commits to achieving high quality and excellent performance. They make well-thought decisions and work meticulously, from following processes to ensuring safety in the workplace. They also have a better work-life balance, provide exceptional customer care, and are less vulnerable to stress.
Undoubtedly, strong leadership impacts an organisation’s values and overall work culture. It can create positive effects that encourage and enhance employee engagement or leave the workforce disgruntled and dissatisfied. It is, therefore, essential that leaders know how to translate the company’s core values into something that the employees can relate to and appreciate. Here are four basic ways to get started.
Sure, free pizza parties are a fun way to celebrate your organisation’s achievements but don’t expect these perks are enough to keep your employees happy and driven. Real motivation and employee engagement are rooted in recognition. We are not talking about the type wherein managers post people’s names on the company website or on the office wall, where they most likely get ignored. We are referring to genuine, meaningful, and individualised recognition.
According to a survey, feeling unappreciated is the third most common reason workers leave their companies. Acknowledgement and incentives are effective ways to boost workforce morale and ensure that employees stay highly productive and loyal to the company.
How do you make recognition a part of your company’s core values? Different individuals want different things when it comes to being acknowledged for their performance. Determine what your employees prefer through a survey. Ask them what would make them feel the most appreciated at work. Others may go for in-office perks such as free lunch or spot bonuses such as gift cards, but many will most likely pick personal recognition from the manager.
Try to incorporate daily recognition into your work routine. For instance, spare at least ten minutes at the end of the shift to acknowledge a team member. Optimise both monetary and social recognition. Implement a platform that allows good performance to get company-wide attention. Do not forget to celebrate birthdays, company milestones, and accomplishments. Have a quarterly rewards ceremony to recognise top-performing employees and inspire others.
More importantly, communicate regularly. It is incredible how a simple thanks can help reduce stress and give an extra boost for the next day.
Creating Opportunities for Development
No talented employee would settle for a dead-end job at a company that lacks career growth opportunities. Lack of professional development makes employees feel undervalued and eventually leads to disengagement and dissatisfaction. On the contrary, employees who have access to leadership learning and training courses are 37% more productive. And companies that invest in career growth and skills training have higher financial gains by 24%.
Providing career and professional development boosts workforce engagement and increases motivation. It does not only help the business move forward but also sustains its growth. Employee development ensures that the workforce’s skill sets evolve along with industry trends, technological advancement, and best practices.
Professional development should not focus on only one aspect of an individual’s career. It should be continuous and extend beyond enhancing a person’s skill for a specific role. Helping employees hone their capabilities and teaching them new skill sets better equips them for their tasks and any unexpected changes ahead. Furthermore, it adds more value to the work they do.
Focus on creating a professional development program that allows the employees to carve out their career paths. Have mentorship programs and peer-learning sessions. Although not everyone would want to be in a managerial position, make leadership and management training available to anyone interested as this helps improve thinking abilities and decision making.
Many leaders underestimate the importance of goal setting, and this simple miscalculation sets up a company for failure. Having no particular goal to work on can result in uncertainty which affects the morale of employees and ultimately their productivity. On the other hand, when employees know what they are working to achieve and which direction they’re taking to attain it, they feel more secure and motivated to work for the goal. Knowing that each one has a role in achieving the company’s objectives forges teamwork. It also cultivates respect for what others do and fosters a sense of pride and belonging.
Setting clear goals allows employees to focus on their priorities and complete their tasks on time. They also serve as a guide, particularly in the decision-making process when employees come across challenging situations that require tough choices. Lastly, goals act like a roadmap that directs individuals towards what they hope to achieve professionally within the organisation.
Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion provide a healthy variety of individuals from various backgrounds and cultures, making the workplace dynamic, vibrant, and full of innovative energy. Statistics show that diverse and inclusive companies generally perform better financially compared to those that are not. Another study reveals that inclusion creates improved decisions 87% of the time, and the executed business choices brought 60% better results.
Despite the undebatable benefits of diversity and inclusion, some companies still struggle to embrace the concept. And these may have come from deep-seated but unconscious biases. To avoid this, start with your recruitment process. Some high-end recruiters, such as Lightning Travel Recruitment, recruiters in the luxury travel and lifestyle sector, are tackling this head-on by pushing businesses to use blind hiring techniques, write inclusive job descriptions, and widen your search to involve a broader pool of talents.
If you already have a diverse workforce, ensure that everyone is treated equally and heard like everyone else. Remember that diversity is ineffective without inclusion. Be sure to educate your employees about the benefits of diversity and inclusion and how it makes your organisation more robust and more resilient to change.