In the new year everyone is excited, enthusiastic and fresh ready to begin the year and make it better than the last. So how do you engage your employees in your business (or team for those in management) and keep them enthusiastic as the year progresses?
It’s important to ensure you are appropriately and frequently communicating your vision and values for the business to all employees. From the most junior to the most senior. If the junior greeting your clients as the first point of contact doesn’t understand your business values then they won’t be able to flow them through to the customer.
This also needs to be backed up with action. Ensure you are ‘walking the walk’ and not just ‘talking the talk’. Examples are always set from above. If the boss can’t be bothered to do it then neither will employees.
2. Find out what is important to your team
What are their goals both for their career and life in general? What is their definition of success? What makes their life easier both inside and outside of work? By knowing what makes your team ‘tick’ you will be able to ensure they feel valued and happy within their position.
“Clients don’t come first, employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” Richard Branson
3. Training and Tools
It’s so important that your team has the right training and tools to be able to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. Whether it be technical training, training in ‘soft skills’ such as people management, having the right staff in their team or a properly functioning computer (the endlessly breaking or slow computer can lose a lot of productivity). Make sure you are touching base at least quarterly with staff in some way to ensure any blocks to their performance and productivity are being addressed.
Another Richard Branson quote I love “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to”.
These will always get people talking at least, but they may not always give the results you are looking for. You need to ensure any incentives offered line up with your Vision and Values, otherwise you’re confusing people by saying one thing but rewarding another. It’s also important to ensure they are consistent with whatever you are communicating is important at the time in meetings etc. eg. Don’t create an incentive scheme for contacting x number of new customers whilst communicating the need to focus on servicing the existing customers better. Who is going to worry about the existing customers when they are only being rewarded for the new ones? Also ensure that your incentives don’t cause other unplanned problems again due to people focusing on achieving the set target and letting other things fall by the wayside.
5. Be consistent for the long haul
Ensure that as you go about your year you keep consistent and committed for the long haul. If you start a new program or commitment for communication or to solve a problem, stick to it. Don’t get bored and let it fizzle. You will struggle to get engagement next time as people won’t have faith things will continue as promised/expected.
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