Employees are the heart and soul of a company. They are the means by which a business obtains success, but they can also be a business owner’s largest expense. By engaging with good employees, a company can be carried to ever increasing growth and profit. However, if your workers ever become disengaged and unmotivated, they can become a massive source of wasted time and money in most companies.
While we can go into deep detail as to how businesses can keep employees engaged in the long term, cultivating engagement can generally be summarised in three Ps: Purpose, People, and Progress.
Purpose is the foundation of any company. Businesses should be clear as to why the business exists and what it stand for. Connecting people to the purpose drives passion and empowers everyone to clearly see the things that work, as wells as those that don’t. It is especially important to make the company’s purpose clear during the hiring process to ensure potential new talent are certain that your job offer lines up with their own passion.
This segues into the second P: People. People are attracted to passion. Everyone wants to be part of something larger than themselves. Getting clear on purpose makes your company a magnet for people who are excited by its purpose. The company becomes a way for hopeful employees, customers, and partners to express who they are and what they care about. Businesses need to hire the right people, put them in the right places, then get out of their way.
Progress is the final P and is all about defining success. It is highly encouraged to make progress visible, as it feeds motivation. Even a simple daily progress report via company chatrooms can go a long way to keep employees motivated. It keeps everyone in the game and focused on winning. Without a way to “keep score”, engagement evaporates and efforts quickly feel futile. Clear definitions for success need to be made so that people know if they’re ahead or behind.
Engaged workers will amplify the effectiveness and efficiency of a business. Unfortunately, it is a tragic reality that many employees are often not engaged. Even in a highly successful company that is turning in huge profits in every quarter, there will be at least a few workers who are dissatisfied and unmotivated. That’s a tragedy, especially when we consider that everyone enjoys engaging work.
When employees are engaged, they are performing at their best. These workers enjoy their jobs because they feel needed and their contributions are acknowledged. Time flies by. There is no time for boredom, anxiety, or worry. Engaged employees are more productive and creative because they love what they do. They treat people better. Engagement makes the company stronger.
As companies grow bigger and become more successful, it becomes easier to overlook certain aspects of the company. As a result, some departments or certain sections may end up less appreciated than others. Lack of growth, poor communication, lack of acknowledgement, lack of training, etc., are all contributing factors to employee disengagement, which unfortunately, most if not all companies will face at some point or another.
Disengagement also provokes quitting, which can bring with it unwanted costs such as covering job duties, recruiting replacements, on-boarding and training new staff, and juggling the pile-up of backlogs.
An engaging work environment can’t be commanded or forced. It must be cultivated. Maximum contribution is the prize and it bestows a generous advantage on the business owner that achieves it.