During a recent stop at Williams Coffee the server asked if providing me with the “now serving #1” sign would go to my head? Of course not, at least not initially! Consider though that engaging employees is really the result of each and every employee feeling that they are in fact “number 1” to the organization.
A seemingly impossible feat, but not that difficult if you think about the five steps that the most successful organizations practice to engage their employees:
1. Feedback is solicited from employees. Leadership encourage’s feedback from employees, which begins with consistently asking for it.
2. Leadership responds to feedback, regardless of it’s validity. Immediately responding to employees relative to the validity (or lack thereof) within their feedback is critical. Not responding provides employees with the perception that their feedback is not relevant or important.
3. Valuable feedback is acted upon quickly.
Time is valuable, and in turn acting on feedback provided by employees quickly demonstrates just how valuable the employee feedback is to the organization.
4. Employees are rewarded for their input and views. Don’t let this confuse you. I am not suggesting a formal reward system, but something as simple as a “thank-you.” We have lost touch with the emotional benefits that are provided to employees when thanked face to face by their peers or superior.
5. Employees can directly relate business success to their input. When I look around my business I see the results of my vision and execution towards that vision. Employees must see results that can be directly related to their input if they are to feel engaged.
In essence, employees must feel like their skill and views are valued. Everyone must feel like number one! The starting point then is to simply listen to employees and understand that your most important asset (employees), should be treated as such.
© Shawn Casemore 2012. All rights reserved.