How to Get Your Employees to Actually Care

Today we're going to explore how to build purpose and get your employees to care about your company goals, your mission, your vision and your ‘Why’… to care about the reason your company exists in the first place.

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When we look at the state of the workplace, especially right now, we know that employees are feeling disconnected from the office and from work, both emotionally and physically. This disconnection creates a state where many employees will only do what they're told to do. Ultimately, this leads to employees that become more reactive instead of proactive. And it can be more difficult for an employer to know if everyone is moving in the same direction. 

A recent Legerweb survey of 1,500 office workers* revealed a deep need for meaningful work. So much so that 47% of millennial respondents would even forgo a $9,600 pay raise for a position where they could make a greater impact on the world. This search for purpose fuels both individual employee performance and corporate results. A Gallup global employee engagement survey calculated that business units in the top quartile of global employee engagement were 17% more productive and 21% more profitable than those in the bottom quartile.

How Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted Your Employees?

COVID-19 has made it more difficult for employees of most organizations to connect and collaborate with one another. This new sense of isolation and disconnection has resulted in a complex situation that many organizations have had to navigate over the course of the pandemic. 

This is a major issue. When employees feel disengaged it leads to reactive behaviors and disconnected actions. Not surprisingly, this leads to lower productivity. It also creates scattered focus and increases distractions across the team. Co-workers become less cohesive, and when that happens, groups begin to grow apart. 

Ultimately, they’re not working together towards a common goal, and you’re giving up productivity and profitability. 

You’re also in danger of not retaining your best employees and top talent. Why? Because when employees feel disconnected, as if they’re not part of a team rowing in the same direction, it makes their work less meaningful. 

The other issue COVID-19 has presented is that management feels less in control of a suddenly distributed workforce. After all, now they can’t actively see their teams at work, or observe what’s happening in person. The way that many managers try to address this is by stepping in (remotely) and micromanaging every decision. It brings them a temporary feeling of being more in control, but it doesn’t create a positive atmosphere for the rest of the team!

Think Like an Owner to Boost Employee Commitment

The good news is, there is an alternative approach. It starts with inspiring your employees to care as much about their work, and the business, as you do. 

When employees really care, they come to work and understand that what they do matters. They know that how they show up means something, and feel empowered to creates a thriving workplace with the following common characteristics:

  • Employees collaborate more, and are more likely to move together in the same direction.
  • Productivity and efficiency are increased where you have alignment and momentum. 
  • Sick days and time-off metrics are lower.
  • Retention is higher, as people love to work there.
  • Talent acquisition is easier. Happier employees will refer their friends and previous colleagues to HR because it's such a great place to work. They're willing to vouch for you.
  • Tangible engagement metrics increase when companies have employees who care. 

So how do we get employees to care? How do we motivate and inspire employees to care about our company mission and goals? Here are 5 tips to get your employees to care. 

Tip #1: Build a Sense of Purpose with Your Aspirational Vision

Make work mean more, and foster an inspiring sense of purpose by clearly communicating your ‘Why’. Everyone in your organization should understand your vision and the roadmap to creating a greater good than simply financial success. 

When you're communicating your ‘Why’, vision, and company roadmap, it's important to be honest. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable and realistic about the true challenges that the company faces in order to reach those goals. Clear, open communication gives your employees a sense of belonging to something important. They will feel included and understand what's going on. They’ll feel part of something bigger than themselves and be more willing to row together to get there. 

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5 Steps to Inspiring Your Team to Care As Much About Their Work, And the Business, As You Do

Save a copy of this detailed guide to building an engaged and passionate workforce.

Tip #2: Connect Closely With Your Team 

Next, be intentional about connecting with your team. Connecting is something that some (but not all) leaders are exceptionally skilled at. It’s worth your time to fine-tune whatever natural ability you may have in order to connect and communicate with people personally. 

For those that find this talent harder to practice, understand that any effort can create significant benefits. Try to connect personally and frequently with everyone on the team, and make sure that everyone understands what's going on. Employees should feel that they matter, and that they are seen. People also want to be heard. Try creating an intentional process for connecting with your team. 

You can also use surveys to ensure ongoing alignment within the company. And when a team member does good work that matters, give positive feedback early and often. 

Tip #3: Use the Right Tools to Drive Employee Engagement

The next key is all about ensuring you have the tools that you need to incentivize, recognize, and publicly reward employee performance and milestones. There are several software platforms to help you do this —  we’re proud to offer solutions for small / medium-sized businesses and larger corporate enterprises. 

The right tools help to automatically maintain and grow engagement over time. As you probably know first hand, when you first start a new initiative, everybody’s excited about it. But often, after a few months of hard work, that energy and enthusiasm can start to fizzle. A recognition, rewards, and incentive strategy, with the right technology in place, can help to automate the creation of a sustainable workplace culture that keeps on working for you long after the initial excitement. 

When used strategically, these tools can help automate the process of recognition and rewards while also tying them to very specific business goals. It removes the guesswork about what will be effective, and helps build a consistent workplace culture of appreciation.

Having the right tools, however, is critical. Just like you wouldn't try to manage the company books in a spreadsheet, or manage your sales process without a CRM, choosing the right tools to run your rewards and recognition process and is a critical piece of the puzzle. 

Tip #4: Workflows to Simplify and Encourage Teamwork

You’ll also want to be sure to build workflows that encourage collaboration, communication, and idea sharing. Your people want a choice and they want a voice.

Help them know that what they think matters by giving them opportunities for sharing their thoughts and for working together. Here at CarltonOne Engagement, one thing we do that works really well hosting quarterly hack-a-thons to solve real business challenges. We then reward contributors who come up with great ideas. 

These events bring the added benefits of fostering social connections (even when done virtually), jumpstarting new product development, and even inspiring friendly competition and out-of-the-box thinking.

Tip #5: Create Goals and a Roadmap

Finally, be sure to set tangible goals with clear steps and measurable accomplishments. Your people need to know what's expected of them, and they want to know how what they do every day fits into the bigger picture. Emphasize their role by connecting the dots for them, actively helping them see how their role directly helps the company reach its goals. 

Inspiring your employees to care as much as you do about business growth is not about shouting a vision from the rooftops and expecting everyone to jump onboard. True success will come from consistent, clear communication and real connection at the heart and soul level. It has to do with strategies and workflows that support the ongoing inspirational aspect of what you're trying to accomplish. And it has to do with having the right tools and training to incentivize, recognize, and publicly reward your team for their performance. 

At CarltonOne Engagement, our number one goal is to make work mean more. 

We do that with our award-winning technology and best practices for corporations and small to medium-sized companies. All of our solutions are built to mobilize and inspire our workforce (and yours!) by linking engagement behaviors to climate change actions in the community. Our sustainability mission is powered by a unique eco-action business model that will fund the planting of 100 million trees every year, and protect our planet’s oceans, soil and species. 

To find out more, visit our homepage.

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5 Steps to Inspiring Your Team to Care As Much About Their Work, And the Business, As You Do

Save a copy of this detailed guide to building an engaged and passionate workforce.

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