As business leaders, we all want employees who are engaged, enjoy coming to work and truly want to make a difference. But how do we inspire employees around our mission, vision and values to ensure both happy employees and a successful business venture?
The answer lies in forgetting the notion of “engaging” employees and instead focusing on fostering an environment built around trust.
Why Trust Matters
Employees want to be part of an organization and a team they truly trust. Those companies who are perceived by their employees as being a high-trust organization enjoy 50 percent higher employee retention rates, and their employees are 50 percent more productive while at work.
Additionally, employees in high-trust organizations exhibit more energy and passion for their jobs, which translates into positive interactions with customers and, ultimately, improved sales.
Conversely, if employees perceive their leaders to be untrustworthy, the consequences are damaging. Employees simply will ignore leaders who they don’t trust. That’s not good for business.
Trust matters, but how do you start building trust among your employees?
Evaluating Your Culture
It starts with your culture. First, start by evaluating your entire organization, top to bottom, to determine your culture. How do employees perceive you? How do they feel when they are at work? Do they talk positively about their work environment when they are away?
Establishing a strong organizational culture is always a work in progress. Start by identifying opportunities to strengthen your culture and increase your employees sense of purpose within the organization. This will help you foster a trusting environment. When employees feel welcomed, listened to and supported, their productivity and enjoyment at work naturally increases.
Regularly gathering your employees is a powerful way to inspire, motivate and celebrate your team. But don’t just plan another meeting. As budgets tighten, you must be able to showcase how individual and company performance is improved as a result of your employee event.
Furthermore, you have a unique opportunity to design incentive programs, sales meetings or all-employee celebrations in intentional ways, so these events foster a trusting relationship between your organization and its employees.
At the culmination of your event, your employees should feel celebrated. They should feel cared about. They should leave the event with the understanding that they are part of an authentic relationship with their employer. All of these are attributes of trust and must be taken into consideration when planning your employee events.
There are a variety of ways to measure whether or not your employee engagement strategy is making an impact on your employees. For example, consider a baseline survey of your employees and their perception of your culture. Then survey them again after you’ve made strides to positively shift the culture of your organization.
When planning key employee events, try measuring organizational trust levels before and after the event. This can identify specific behaviors by leaders that produce higher job satisfaction and less stress among employees.
Fostering trust among your employees is no longer an option. Instead, it’s a necessity for overall employee happiness, which leads to increased company performance.