You’re running your own business. You may be in the early stages of a start-up, following a brilliant idea. You may be running an established family firm. Your business may be manufacturing or retail, creative or technology, artisan or financial services. Do you know about employee engagement and its power in helping your team to give of their best?
More highly engaged employees tend to be high performing and more customer focussed. Would you like to increase the commitment of your employees to your business and to improving your service to your customers and clients.
So what practical things can you do?
First, though, are you willing to do things differently in your business? And you yourself? Organise your day differently, do different things? Some people are comfortable in their style of working and don’t want to change. You might have to, if you want your employees to be more engaged, so they can see more of you and hear more from you.
So, let’s think about what you do as the leader of your organisation. Do you spend all your time at your desk or in meetings? Or do you get out and about, talking to your employees, perhaps even lending a helping hand? When was the last time you made an employee a cup of tea, or asked them about their family or what interests them? What do they know about you?
More significantly, do your employees know your plans for the organisation? How will they benefit? What might they be worried about? What are their ideas? How do they know you have listened to them and heard what they have to say? Are you involving them in the decisions you are taking, so they are shaping the future with you? Are you developing your employees into a team who are realising your vision for the future with you? Are you defining success together, and celebrating your achievements and sharing the rewards?
Most of all, if you want to increase your business, and improve your service to your customers, are you discussing that with your employees. Why not set aside some time on a regular basis to talk about how you could do things differently? You could have a general discussion, and then have more detailed conversations about different areas of the business in turn. What ideas do your employees have for simplifying what they do? What are the really helpful things you do for your customers? What is a waste of time? What could you do differently? What wouldn’t cost much to change? What is really worth investing in?
Perhaps you are thinking “I’ve got too much to do already. I haven’t got time for all this talking.” We know you have a lot on your plate. But taking time to think about the culture you want in your company, the values you want to be known for, and to discuss, agree and get the commitment of your team is vital for your firm’s survival this year, next year, over the next ten years. And time spent discussing with your team how you can engage with your customer, and how you can improve your service to them, is never time wasted. It is crucial to maintaining and expanding your business.
Working with your team to do that secures they are engaged with and committed to your goals for your business and they will help you do rather than get in the way. It makes sense, doesn’t it?
How you do these things will be different depending on the size and nature of your business, and its geographical spread. The case studies and hints and tips on this website can tell you about some of the things other leaders have tried. You will need to work out what best suits your business.
As a starter for ten, check out these case studies: