Building genuine connections with your employees is critical to your business success.
A Gallup poll found that companies with the most engaged workers are 17% more productive, 21% more profitable, and make 20% more sales.
Clearly, having engaged employees produces better business outcomes, no matter the company size, industry, or current economic climate. Gallup’s data shows that only 15% of full-time employees say that they are engaged at work worldwide.
So, how do you get people more enthused and passionate about their job? Here are some of the best ways to forge and develop a real connection with your employees so that they feel truly committed to your business:
1. Make Sure Your Employees Feel Heard
Employees who feel that their opinion is valued are more likely to feel invested in their jobs – and motivated to work hard. Moreover, employees's ideas and feedback can be highly valuable when it comes to work processes.
On top of regular performance reviews, specify regular times when employees can talk to you freely. If you have a large company with many levels of leadership hierarchy, skip-level meetings allow employees to feel heard and valued by the top management. But it only works if you really listen to your employees and don’t criticize their feelings and responses. It’s vital to make it clear that employees will never be penalized for disagreeing with you.
However, setting up in-person meetings with team leaders or C-level executives is not that easy, especially in large organizations or in businesses where remote work is common.
To make open discussions easier, use an internal content hub like Smarp where everyone in the company: employees, managers and executive teams can share ideas and insights with their colleagues on specific topics, projects, or even on the company's vision. It’s a great way to give employees the opportunity to learn from each other and contribute to the company's culture.
2. Keep Everyone Informed
Nobody likes to feel they are the last to learn about a new business development or the release of a new product update, so provide equal access to business knowledge. After all, knowledge is power!
When your employees know how the business is doing, they can see the impact of their efforts on the company’s success. For example, giving employees access to a chart showing rising profits following a quarter in which they delivered on a big project or sharing information on the upcoming product the company is about to launch can be a huge motivational push for them.
If you want to get your employees excited about the company news, share these news in a user-friendly and engaging format such as blog posts, infographics or videos! And to make it easy for them to catch up with all your company news no matter the office or the business unit they’re working in, share these news through your internal content hub. That way employees can check them on their own time and also react to them whenever it’s convenient for them!
3. Be Transparent
Proactive honesty is key in every relationship, including business ones. When your employees trust you to be open and forthcoming with them, they will be more willing to follow your lead, even in situations where you don’t have the time or ability to share every detail.
In fact, some 56% of men and 65% of women say that managerial trust is very important to their job satisfaction. And when it comes to performance reviews (both ad hoc and formal reviews), sugar coating your impressions doesn’t help anyone!
Authentic feedback and genuine, constructive criticism is valuable for every worker to move ahead in their role and feel connected to the business.
4. Recognize and Acknowledge Your Employees’ Efforts
People need to feel that their work is impactful and appreciated! Expressing your appreciation for a worker’s efforts, both on an individual and a team level, goes a long way towards building engagement and motivation.
A short email to say “thank you” after someone worked overtime to get a project done on time or a quick “good job” after a project is completed is a good start but an internal content hub is the best place to acknowledge someone’s hard work! You can for example share your employees’ best achievements in a post explaining what the challenges were, how your employees overcame them and the impacts they made on the business. You can also share your teams’ best results and performances to encourage team spirit in the workplace!
Also, whenever a client sends you positive feedback or you notice a five-star customer review online, share the news through your internal content hub so everyone is aware of the company’s success!
5. Make It Personal
Your employees aren’t just workers, they’re people. Each employee is an individual, with plenty of things going on in their lives.
When you make a personal connection by encouraging employees to get to know each other better, you show that you care about them on a human level. For example, invite your employees to create and share posts on their hobbies through Smarp. Some of your employees may be musicians, members of the local soccer team, or passionate about ballet and you don’t even know it!
By sharing posts related to their hobbies, employees can find out that they have hobbies in common, start organizing after-work events and inspire each other! It’s not always easy to put time into building these personal interactions but it makes a big difference to your employees’ sense of engagement.
True Connections Don’t Require Rocket Science
Are engaged employees going to make a significant difference to your business success? The answer to that question is obviously yes! When you have a personal connection with your employees, they’re far more likely to feel invested in the business and want to give it their all.
Employees who are confident that their hard work will be rewarded, who feel valued and heard, who are aware of what is going on in the business, and who trust their managers, are likely to put more effort and energy into their jobs. They’re also less likely to leave the company! Engaged employees are happy employees, and happy employees can take your business to the next level!
Are you interested in learning more on internal communications and how to better connect with your employees? Check out our free eBook “The #NoSearching Revolution” below!