This is part two of a two-part blog series. In the previous blog post, I discussed what employee engagement means—specifically to me, a “Millennial”—and why it’s so important for your business.
Check that blog post out now, if you want to get up to speed. Meet you back here soon.
As I mentioned in the previous post, I was highly engaged for a long time at every company I worked for. Now as a contractor, I focus so much time, energy and passion into my work with Foodee. So what kept me engaged then and now?
How to boost employee engagement—Ideas from a Millennial
- Vision: The true purpose behind your business
- Values: What your business values most
- Practice: How your business’ practice what you preach
- People: Your committed, loyal workforce
- Narrative: The stories your business tells
- Place: Your business’ vision, values, narrative and so on, in physical form
Many of these key components play a role in boosting employee engagement. Let’s see how.
Make your vision or true purpose known
Some of the most successful companies have a clear vision for the future of its business. These businesses make their vision statements known through great branding, slogans, vision statements, logos and so on. All of this attracts like-minded employees who are dedicated to making the vision a reality. Having a clear vision and purpose drives everyone forward in the same direction.
Interestingly, only 40 percent of millennial employees surveyed by Gallup in 2016 felt strongly connected to their company’s mission. Likewise, one report found that 60 percent of employees didn’t even know their company’s vision. How can a workforce help drive the business forward if they don’t have a purpose?
Think of it like rolling a stone up a hill. If everyone knows why they’re doing it, they’ll continue to push. But without a clear purpose—or if someone is attracted to another purpose—they’ll stop pushing at some point (and they may even convince others to do the same).
For example, Disney’s vision is to “bring happiness to millions.” Just one look at Disney’s culture—or its values, practices, place, and people—shows that their vision is clear and embodied in everything they do. This attracts like-minded employees from afar who can add their personal touch to the growth of the business.
Some of the most highly engaged, young employees that I’ve ever met bought into the vision and values of a company early on. When first I started at Hootsuite back in 2012, for example, I bought into the company’s culture and vision for the future. And if I was ever working on a seemingly insignificant task, I knew how it contributed to the larger, greater whole. I understood the vision statement and was happy to contribute.
Tip: Make sure that your company has a clear direction—that is highly visible and known to all employees—to help your team stay on track and engaged in their work.
Celebrate your people and culture
Now that you’ve nailed down your vision statement, you can begin to attract and retain employees who truly buy into your purpose. Hopefully, most of your workforce is already onboard with you. Celebrate those who are by listening to their needs, helping them rise in their careers and working with them to learn and grow. For those employees who don’t buy into your vision, find out why not and how, or if, you can bring them back into the company culture. Work with them to re-engage them. You’re only as good as the company you keep, after all.
If your workforce understands your business trajectory, why not work with them along the path to getting there? Give them some autonomy to become masters of their role and help them see just how they’re contributing to the future of the business.
After all, engaged employees are 38 percent more likely to have an above-average productivity. And productivity is contagious in any workforce…
Looking for more ideas on how to boost employee engagement?
Check out our past blog posts on How 8 Tech Companies Attract and Retain Top Talent or Team Building with Food or 33 Employee Engagement Ideas for the Summer (perhaps we’ll do another post one day soon on ideas for the winter).