Like it or not, holiday dinners with the in-laws and extended family are fast approaching. While overeating and over imbibing are often givens, so are the inevitable and contrived questions concerning your job:
“So, how’s work going?”
“Do you like what you are doing?”
“Did you get that raise your were looking for?”
More often than not, these types of questions are answered with a default grimace and retort, “my job is O.K.”
Wouldn’t it be great if this year you had an answer that not only
made you proud of what you are doing, but one that also made everyone at
the table take note of how cool your company really is?
So, why am I just ‘O.K’ with my job?
This is a very tricky and complex question. If you are not
happy with your job, you may want to consider looking for another. But,
if you don’t know how to describe to your extended family how your work and company is awesome, the problem and blame may fall on your boss.
It is your bosses’ responsibility to engage and empower.
Research shows millennials are seeking work for companies with a
purpose. The need by many is to find meaning in their jobs. Working 40+
hours a week without believing that your hard work is helping the
greater good is as rewarding as a holiday dinner for one (without
booze). Studies have also shown that monetary rewards aren’t necessarily
the silver bullet in maintaining sustainability while decreasing
turnover. The key is to engage and empower your employees.
Three keys to engage and empower your employees:
1) Empowered Management
First off, does your team know your company’s values and
mission? Can they rattle it off to you before you finish pouring your
first cup of coffee in the break room? It’s fine if your company has yet
to establish set values and a mission. In fact, it is a good idea to
construct these core ideas with input from everyone in the company—both
old and new. Value alignment is integral in producing engagement in all
departments. When a company’s employees understand what the organization
truly stands for, they are more confident and less likely to respond, “My job is O.K.’”
when asked at the dinner table. Why? Their work now has meaning and
purpose. They understand and believe in their marching orders. They are
more passionate, creative, and productive.
2) Focused Transparency
Everything a company does should clearly reinforce and align
with the company’s core values. A value is a principal that guides
behavior. An all-staff meeting that does not clearly illustrate how
company goals and impact reflect the company’s values, will inevitably
fail to give employees a shared sense of purpose they desire in their
job. A transparent culture based on shared company values will create
trust, loyalty, and passion among all employees.
3) Choice and Collaboration
Once you have created and are clearly supporting your company’s
unique values, invite your employees to participate and engage with
your company’s efforts. Promote value by encouraging and incentivizing
your employees to collaborate with your company’s marketing and
communication efforts. Invite your employees to share, like, and comment
on your company’s content. Even better, empower you employers to write
their own content supporting your company’s value. Expand your company’s
network by encouraging (and rewarding) your employees to share your
company via their own networks.
Increased employee satisfaction, productivity, retention,
recruitment, and innovation are all potential benefits of strong
employee engagement programs. An engaged employee is a person who is
fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work. Management
that empowers and rallies employees around company goals that reflect
shared values, creates trust, loyalty, and passion among all employees.
Creating channels in which employees can collaborate and share their
company’s values, further engages and inspires the employee.
Before the holiday season starts, take a moment and ask yourself how your team will be answering the unavoidable question of, “How’s work going?” Then ask yourself if you have adequately covered these three keys to better engage and empower your employee.
Is your team engaged? What benefits does your company see
in having an engaged workforce? Are you an employee that does not feel
Comment and let me know!
Jason Fowler is the Director of Marketing at VisionLink, a community inspired and designed software and company based in Boulder, CO.
To contact Jason directly, please email: email@example.com