In my last blog post, I summarized five major themes found across many employee engagement tools and methods. When thoroughly and intentionally addressed, these five themes can be the key to improving employee engagement, reducing turnover, and improving customer experience.
As a brief reminder, the five major themes are:
1. Purpose 2. Safety 3. Vulnerability 4. Autonomy 5. Barrier-Free Work Last time, under the topic of “Purpose”, we covered how critical it is that employees understand your company purpose...why is it you exist and do what you do every day? How can employees join best in the pursuit of that goal? How do their daily actions enable or inhibit this outcome, directly or indirectly?
In this blog post we will dive into the need for you to truly understand your employees' purpose, and become a Super Hero.
Unfortunately, most company executives, managers, or supervisors haven't put much thought into this topic. But I hope by the end of this blog post you feel a passion for diving into understanding your employees at this deep, meaningful level.
What are your employees' hopes and dreams? What inspires them? What do they want to accomplish? I don't mean career-wise, although that might play into their answers a bit. I'm referring to personal, deeply important things that are enabled by their careers. Maybe they want to be the first person in their family to graduate college. Perhaps they are saving to purchase a home instead of renting. Some may be saving to finally experience financial stability by eliminating debt.
Whatever your employees are trying to accomplish, whatever their dreams may be, have you created the atmosphere where you are a participant, not a bystander, in making those dreams come true?
In making a strong, clear connection between your company purpose and the purpose of your employees, you can begin to demonstrate how, in helping the company succeed, the company can help your employees succeed.
For example, if you have an employee who is trying to save money for a house down-payment - there are several things you could do to invest yourself in helping your employee make their home-savings dreams come true. While any or all of these may be options, it will require an honest conversation where you offer to help and your employee feels safe to receive your help in order to truly enable them to be successful with any or all of these options: 1. Offer financial planning assistance in the form of classes, resources, or connect them with financial advisors.
2. Offer them a pathway to promotion that would expedite their savings and help them realize their goal more rapidly.
3. Suggest to them money-management apps or website to help them budget effectively.
4. Offer to connect them with trusted realtors who can help them navigate the various loan options and the confusing home-buying process. Perhaps that employee is not familiar with FHA loans, for example, or that conventional loans do not require a full 20% down. Their path to home ownership may actually be closer than they thought! There are many things you could do to partner with your employee who is seeking to make the dream of home ownership come true for them and their family. But it starts with you seeing yourself as a conduit to enable that outcome, investing yourself in the life of your employee as a partner, not as a bystander or merely a "boss". This partnership builds relational value, something that will allow you as a leader and your company as an employer to stand out among the many options in the market.
Remember, if employees leave bad bosses, they stick around for great bosses.
Growing your relationship in depth and breadth with your employees as a partner to helping them make their dreams come true by helping the company succeed is a great way to do it.
Lastly, remember, this is not a one-and-done conversation. In monthly or ongoing dialogue, check in with your employees to see how they are faring in making their dreams come true, what is standing in their way, and how you can further support them if possible. Simply having that conversation is a great way to begin to transform the very culture of your company to becoming an incredible employer of choice in your market.
For tools and resources on becoming a partner with your employees in making their dreams come true, please take a look at the following resources:
BOOK: “The Dream Manager” by Matthew Kelly
Beginning with his important thought that a company can only become the-best-version-of-itself to the extent that its employees are becoming better-versions-of-themselves, Matthew Kelly explores the connection between the dreams we are chasing personally and the way we all engage at work. Tackling head-on the growing problem of employee disengagement, Kelly explores the dynamic collaboration that is unleashed when people work together to achieve company objectives and personal dreams. CERTIFICATION: The Official Dream Manager Program - Go beyond the book and become a certified dream manager. Join over 400 leaders who are transforming their teams and cultures. PODCAST: “The Dream Manager” with Mary Miller - She’s an author, speaker, and former CEO of JANCOA (a commercial cleaning company started her husband started decades ago and still run by the family today). Through efforts to create an environment to attract the best in the industry, they created The Dream Manager program, popularized by Matthew Kelly's bestselling book by the same title.
Lastly, don’t forget to watch and share this little 60-second Coffee and Culture video with your community, explaining the content of this post in under a minute.
Joel Onyshuk, Co-founder, Unisyn
Your Best Team Everywhere
Unisyn, Inc., the Service Industry solution to unlocking frontline leadership consistency and frontline associate engagement, received the award for "Most Innovative or Forward-Thinking Product/Service" from SHFM. Judges were a panel of operators as well as conference attendees who voted on a number of innovations and solutions, including those promoted by PepsiCo, Coca-Cola North America, Ecolab, Impossible Foods, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Panasonic, Red Bull North America, and many other household names.
Based in Tampa, FL., Unisyn's mission is to "Put your best team everywhere" by empowering your frontline teams to bring your mission to life everywhere and every day. According to Gallup, 70% of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager, and Unisyn is the first and only solution to address this unique, global challenge for Service Industry companies with distributed teams.
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