55% of CEOs are concerned that a lack of internal trust is a threat to organisational growth.
But many have struggled to increase internal trust - often because they don’t know what to do about it. While senior execs typically recognise that low employee engagement is a problem, most brands still rely on outdated practices and a random assortment of perks and privileges to try and improve employee engagement.
Employee engagement can be made up of a few different factors. It includes having a strong connection to work and colleagues, as well as feeling part of the team and having plenty of chance to learn and improve. Over and over again, high employee engagement leads to results for brands and individual employees. It regularly increases productivity, improves customer experience and increases the financial results.
Business leaders know they need to empower and challenge their employees; creating an employee focused organisation is good for the brand. So what can be done to engage employees more effectively?
Grow trust by recognising a job well done
Knowing that you’ve done a good job, and getting praise for it, is immediately uplifting. Recognition has the largest effect on trust when it occurs straight after a job has been finished. For example, letting agents in the Contact Centre see customer feedback straight after a call will help them to connect positive feedback to the work they’re doing. And, in cases where the call didn’t go well, the agent can see where they need to improve in the future.
After a job has been finished, praise, especially in front of colleagues, is a real motivator. This approach not only amplifies successes, it also inspires others to take steps to improve - they also want to receive praise for doing a good job.
Set goals and challenges to give people something to work toward
When you set your team a challenging (but doable) job, this can focus people’s attention and give them something to work towards. If employees need to work together, then this can help grow trust because they become more dependent on each other to achieve the results.
However, this approach is only effective if the tasks are achievable and have a clear goal. Unrealistic challenges very quickly become demotivating, as people believe there is little or no point in even starting. Team leaders should check in often to evaluate progress and make changes to goals that risk becoming demotivating.
Ask for help when you need it
Asking for help from colleagues isn’t always easy, especially for people in senior positions. However, it really helps to build relationships between colleagues because team members feel that they are trusted to do a good job and valued for their contribution. It fulfils that natural human impulse to cooperate with other people.
Company cultures are normally created in a very random way. They start with some perks that reward certain behaviours. But while such perks might give a short term boost, if they’re not offered as part of a culture that values and trusts employees, they will fail to have a lasting effect. It’s only by going deeper and truly building a connection with employees that you’ll be able to make a lasting difference to employee engagement.