If you get a group of HR people or leaders together today, the conversation of employer branding, staff engagement and company culture are likely to raise its head.
It’s not surprising when you consider we are in the middle of a worldwide skills shortage that increases pressure on talent attraction and management for many organisations.
The whole topic of employee engagement is quite simple; no really it is!
Let’s do something outrageous and treat people like regular human beings and who knows our organisation‘s productivity and results might shoot through the roof.
Here are a few ideas to enable you to create a company people want to work for.
Remember Your Role Isn’t To Control People
Your role as a leader isn’t to control people; it’s to build outstanding teams who then produce the results you want.
When leaders are building great teams here is what starts to happen.
- They do and create amazing things
- Customers are delighted.
Those are the data points which genuinely matter. Not the metrics of do you arrive on time, how many holidays are you taking, are you following all the ‘rules’ and of course are you seeking approval for everything you do?
Your Employees Are Human Beings
Your new medical advisor or head of finance is just like you: A human being first and an adult second.
The challenge in so many organisations is that we have created so many layers and so many processes and so many guidelines to keep our employees in place, that we’ve ended up with systems that treat people like they are children, and they are not.
Every single day an adult human being walks into work.
They have mortgage payments, obligations, rows with their spouses, petulant teenagers dominating their home and the list goes on.
Critically, they want to create a difference in the world. If we start with the assumption that everybody comes to work to do a fantastic job, you’d be surprised what you get.
Explain Your ‘Business’, So People Understand It
Every employee in your team and organisation should understand the business. Now based on the assumption that we’ve got smart adults here, the most important thing we can teach them is how our business works.
When I look at companies that are moving fast, that are innovating, that are doing amazing things with agility and speed, it’s because they are collaborative. The best thing that we can do is continuously teach each other what we do, what matters to us and what we measure so that we can all drive towards achieving the same thing.
Embrace The Fact That Everyone‘s Career Is Fluid
The world is changing, and with many of our employees being Millennial, it’s important to remember that having a career with meaning is what they want.
This could mean that they move on. Careers are journeys after all. I started as a pharmacist, and now I am a leadership trainer and coach, and I’m not even a Millennial!
Let people follow their internal guidance and move on.
Nobody’s going to want to do the same thing for 60 years. The idea of keeping people for the sake of keeping them curtails all of us.
Consider this; what if we created companies that were great places to be from and everyone who leaves you becomes an ambassador for not only your product but who you are and how you operate. When you spread that kind of excitement throughout the world, then we make all of our companies better.
Give Authentic Feedback In a Truthful Way
Everyone in your company should be able to handle the truth. You know why people say giving feedback is so hard; it’s because they don’t do it regularly. We have written extensively on giving feedback here and here.
Here is the irony of what I am talking about using performance reviews as an example.
What else do you do in your whole life that you’re good at that you only do once a year? #Nothing.
Here’s what I found, humans can hear anything if it’s true. Let’s rethink the word feedback and think about it as telling people the truth, the truth about what they’re doing right and what they need to change or develop.
For example; “That xxxx good thing you just did, is exactly what I’m talking about. Carry on doing that.” Then watch people do what you have suggested again and again.
Have Your Values on Display and Use Them Too!
Values aren’t just a ‘thing’ companies have on the wall; they work too when they are implemented consistently.
I was talking to a CEO recently. He was having a challenge because the company results were up and down and projects weren’t getting completed on time and to a high standard.
This was also someone whom I observed that never showed up to any meeting on time; ever.
The phrase, “the way you do anything is the way you do everything”, springs to mind here.
As a leader in your organisation, the most important thing that you can do to uphold your values is to live them.
People can’t be what they can’t see.
Here is another popular example: an organisation says equality is essential in our company.
Then reveals how proud they are to have 32% of the board who are women. This isn’t equality; it’s less than a third of our board are women.
Change Is Truly Exciting And A Good Thing
Every company needs to be excited about change.
Back in the day needs to stay back in the day…
If you find yourself saying, “Remember the way it used to be?” I recommend you to shift your thinking to say, “Think about the way it’s going to be.”
Being in such a changing world is exciting. When I first started training, I remember having a Skype call with someone and being excited when I looked in the bottom left–hand corner and saw that there were 7 million people online with me… oh, how things have changed.
I now run training webinars with clients across the globe which was unheard of only five years ago.
The more we embrace change, the more we get excited about it, the more fun we’re going to have.
Until next time,
Can We Help?
Zestfor specialises in developing Training programmes and resources scientifically tailored for technical markets – including Pharmaceutical, IT, and Life Sciences.
Our blend of in-classroom, online, and virtual live-stream delivery methods will engage and assure even the most introverted team members from the first meeting – whether face-to-face or virtually. To have a brief chat call us on 0845 548 0833. Alternatively, email our team here.