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As the new year gets underway, chances are you've set many new goals for your organization. However, have you considered the significant role your culture plays in helping you achieve a greater bottom line?
According to recent employee engagement studies noted by the Society of Human Resource Management, less than one-third of U.S. workers report being "engaged" in their jobs. This staggering statistic, among many others, illustrates the critical need for organizations to improve employee engagement from the ground up to hit financial targets.
Addressing employee engagement requires an understanding of the direct connection between productivity and employee happiness. As indicated in this article by Fast Company, a study focused on this issue showed that happiness in the workplace led to a 12 percent spike in productivity. It's no surprise that when employees are engaged, they are generally more happy, loyal and productive -- all factors that drive a greater bottom line.
While many leaders are aware that employee engagement is instrumental in retaining and attracting top talent, many haven't fully grasped specifically how to increase employees' happiness and job satisfaction.
Here are some key strategies for increasing employee happiness and culture-building to drive performance in 2018:
Implement more effective communication practices.
Employees who feel lost or left in the dark are likely to experience isolation and dissatisfaction with their jobs. Fluid, effective communication is essential for building trust among your employees and creating a work environment in which every individual is valued for their contributions. As you evaluate your organization's communications practices, remember it's not enough to simply have an "open-door" policy.
To build a culture of communication, employees must feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas with their managers and colleagues. Here are some ways in which you can improve internal communication and boost employee engagement:
- Schedule daily status meetings Lack of interaction is one of the most common barriers to effective communication. By having regularly scheduled gatherings or teleconferences with your employees -- either in person or via the web -- you'll provide more opportunities for your team to connect and learn from one another. This helps keep your employees on track to meet their individual goals and holds every person on your team accountable for their own tasks and projects.
- Implement social intranet software. As technology has evolved, there is now a variety of software that can enhance the ways in which managers and their employees communicate. Social intranet software makes it easy to record and capture important conversations, as well as increases the speed and efficiency of information exchange. Implementing a modern-day technology platform can drastically improve the ease and efficiency in which your team communicates on a daily basis.
- Encourage social interactions outside the workplace. Socializing outside the workplace can be integral to employees' growth and development, as it strengthens bonds among your team and leads to improved workplace relationships. Organizing monthly social outings or annual company retreats can help your employees connect on a more meaningful level, helping them improve their communication through various team-building exercises and activities.
Celebrate employee achievements.
A culture of happiness starts by recognizing employees for their hard work. Celebrating employee achievements is an integral part of creating an atmosphere in which every employee feels empowered to thrive and succeed. You can celebrate employees' accomplishments through verbal recognition, annual awards or company-wide events. Recognition of well-deserving employees will directly increase motivation among your team and create a work environment that values individuals for their specific talents and abilities. This in turn creates feelings of belonging and teamwork that create a more productive and focused work environment.
Foster and encourage mentorship.
One of the many benefits of properly executed mentorship programs is happier, more fulfilled employees. According to this article, "a mentor program can keep new employees from feeling like they are lost in the crowd." Mentorship can be a powerful tool not just for increasing job satisfaction, but for improving your employees' skills and capabilities. Some of the responsibilities of mentors include teaching specific job duties; providing guidance and coaching; and evaluating job performance. When executed properly, a formal mentorship program can make employees feel more comfortable and confident on the job -- having a direct impact on job satisfaction levels and productivity.
Are you ready to bring your organization to the next level in 2018?
As you can see, your people truly are your greatest asset when it comes to your bottom line. Failing to make employee happiness and culture-building a priority can cause a downward spiral for your organization's financial health, as well as have a negative effect on morale.
Partnering with a trusted staffing partner can do wonders to cultivate a culture that promotes employee engagement, allowing you to build a productive and motivated workforce. Over time, you'll see the transformative outcomes that result from working with a strategic staffing partner that is aligned with your business goals.