7 Tips to Build Company Culture and Employee Engagement

Simple Talent Optimization Tips to show your People Thanksgiving year round

The power of “Thank You”

Never underestimate the power of saying “thank you”. When you practice Talent Optimization, a people focused strategy that compliments the business, building cultures and workplaces that are engaged is easier and sustainable. In this quick write, we will cover 7 “thank you” tips that our clients practice to be gratitude focused. These practices can build culture, increase employee engagement, and show your people thanks year round.

7 Tips to Build Culture and Increase Employee Engagement

  1. Learn what drives your people and what their interest are. Genuine interest in who a person is and how they like to be managed is a must for employee engagement. When leaders communicate, delegate, reward, and manage to a person natural tendencies, their people will be more productive. Acknowledging their family, interest, and hobbies make employees feel valued and engaged. They will “want to” instead of “having to”. Using a scientifically valid behavior metric tool and old fashioned communication are great ways to better understand your people.
  2. Say “Thank You”. Social etiquette and personal courtesies do actually belong at work. Saying “Thank You” for contributions and effort is very effective in building a collaborative culture and engaging individual efforts. “Please” can never hurt either. It shows humanity and offers your people simple dignity. Gratitude can “build team spirit, boost productivity, and bolster job satisfaction” (Karen Burns, Seen in Seattle Times Nov 28, 2019).
  3. Offer flexible scheduling. Use creative ways to offer flexible schedules. Many employees are parents. Allowing flexible work times to allow drop off or pick up is a big perk for parents and money saver for their personal budgets. Also, allow for incentive based “flex time” that allow employees to earn a 1/2 day or full day off for great production or desired behavior. These types of flex time incentives increase employee engagement, cultural accountability, and boost productivity with millennial employees. (Forbes, Engaging Millennials in the Workplace: Why it matters, March 13, 2019).
  4. Provide Opportunity for advancement. Many of your people have ambition to climb the workplace ladder. Schedule candid conversations about what those ambitions are. Provide feedback that is transparent and honest on advancement possibilities. Transparency is a building block of culture. Employees need to know they can trust their leadership and be open about who they are and how they work. One further tip, profile your jobs and understand what success looks like in that role. Begin to job map your people to see who fits where and what behaviors may translate in other roles. The HR Technologist says “internal job mobility is the key to bridging the obvious talent gap between high skilled jobs and the right talent” (Nov 29, 2019) A word of caution: Great employees don’t always make great managers. Have candid conversations about what success as a manager looks like. Honest conversations and personal development plans are a big deal to millennial employees.
  5. Treat your teams to a meal. Sharing a meal is a great way to build team and culture. It also helps leaders to engage their people on a personal level. Sharing a meal is one of our most basic needs and is communal in nature. Eating together confirms a sense of belonging and reminds us of being apart of a community. All in all, sharing a meal is a great shared human experience. One of our clients has regular “pot lucks”. This allows culture differences and personal traditions to be celebrated.
  6. Reward behaviors not outcomes. Measuring and rewarding cultural behaviors that are desired is a big driver in building culture. It’s about celebrating the unique “process” that makes your company special. One of our clients publishes a monthly e-newsletter to highlight behaviors, actions, or causes championed by individual contributors and teams. This practice has increased the emotional connection toward the workplace and encourages servant leadership at every organizational level.
  7. Encourage employee feedback. Employee feedback is a major factor for companies who have great culture and employee engagement. This feedback builds culture that is open, encouraging, and transparent. Stephanie Sarkis says “open dialogue with employees of the company with experiencing fear of retaliation is essential for improving company culture” (Forbes, Nov 27, 2019). With regard to engagement, a poll on Glassdoor (April 16, 2019), says transparency helps improve morale, lower stress, and increase both employee engagement and performance. Bottom line, feedback and transparency are mutually exclusive and required to build company culture and increase employee engagement.

The Bottom Line

These are 7 tips that we have experienced immediate results with increasing employee engagement and building culture. Coupled with a Talent Optimization methodology, applying these simple tips will add to your bottom line.