All workplaces are not happy places. A recent survey from Gallup indicated that only approximately 32 percent of U.S. employees are ‘actively engaged’ in their job, a number that should be quite alarming to employers.
Summer is a good time to think about how well you are engaging your staff and addressing their job satisfaction. As a leader, you’re accountable for the caliber of workplace culture. Leaving a void where your culture should be often leads to toxic forces taking hold.
Fortunately, leaders can easily boost the caliber of their work culture. Here are a few ways to increase workplace engagement and employee happiness.
Focus on employee interactions
Monitor workplace interactions in meetings, on the production floor, in the office, in the halls, in the break room and anywhere people interact. Watch and listen to how people in your company treat each other. Do they pay attention to each other? Do they complement each other on effort and achievements? Do they joke around with each other or argue a lot?
While paying attention provides you with some outstanding information, performing interviews provides you with more in-depth details. Ask people how they’re treated by co-workers and managers. Ask people about their daily annoyances. Don’t defend anyone’s behavior or company policies; just listen to what your interviewees are telling you.
Set ground rules
Set rules for meetings and hold people to them. Meetings tend to be seen as wastes of time, as opposed to opportunities for increased clarity and inspiration. Putting down ground rules that stipulate how you’d like folks to conduct themselves during meetings means more productivity and engagement.
Focus rules on what you’d like staff members to do as opposed to not do. For instance, say, “Be on time” as opposed to “Don’t be late.”
Stick to five or less ground rules and keep the rules simple. Asking employees for their input on the rules is a great way to increase buy-in. Be sure you hold both yourself and others accountable to the rules. Compliment good meeting behavior and redirect behavior that violates the ground rules.
While setting ground rules won’t guarantee everybody will conduct themselves accordingly, they are a step in the right direction.
Be vigilant about snuffing out bad behavior
Setting ground rules plainly outlines preferred behavior, both for the company and the employees as a whole. Any conduct that goes against these ground rules, policies or the idea of team cohesiveness, must be challenged carefully and quickly. If staff members dismiss or demean others’ contributions, stop the behavior immediately. If staff members hold back information others need, stop that behavior.
Any bad behaviors that go unchallenged deteriorate the caliber of your team’s operations, and they eat away at trust, respect, and pride among all leaders and staff members.
At Cornerstone, we help keep both employees and management happy by providing custom staffing solutions. Please contact us today to find out more about how we can help your company succeed.