I feel myself particularly suited to talk about this subject, because I’m still stuck in the Middle-Earth between employees and employers.
I still have to work as an employee to pay my bills, and I actually enjoy my 9-5 job: if you’re enthusiastic and willing to listen to your fellow coworkers and seniors, you’ll learn something new every day. Moreover, working in a team improves your leadership skills and enlarges your network.
On the other hand, I’ve hired numerous freelancers for my own businesses. Although it’s never been on a regular basis, I’ve got a great deal of work done thanks to their support.
What inspired me to write this article are these pieces of data:
- statistically, only three employees out of ten feel that they are engaged by the company;
- 24% of them are actively disengaged (are not just unhappy at work – they act out on that unhappiness and actually undermine the productivity of otherwise engaged employees);
- the lower the engagement, the higher (fourfold) the likelihood of them looking for a new job;
- 91% of Millennials expect to stay in the same company for a maximum of three years.
What do those pieces of data mean to a company?
The meaning is ridiculously bad.
A disengaged employee costs an organization approximately $3,400 for every $10,000 in annual salary, whereas disengaged employees cost the American economy up to $350 billion per year due to lost productivity.
Disengaged employees don’t feel a connection with the company. Though perhaps harsh to say, they’re probably there because they’ve not found an alternative employer yet. This fact could even represent a threat for your company.
Do you remember how long your new employees’ training lasted? That training would be worthless if they abandoned your company. And you know what? If they go to a competitor, then they will take advantage of your training efforts.
So, what are the best practices to get your employees engaged?
- First of all, they want to be proud of their company and its contributions to the community. In order to achieve this goal, your company should act consistently. There is nothing worse than following orders that are incoherent. Remember, your employees have their own brain and recognize when you don’t know what you’re doing. They have the right to know how their work contributes to the success of the organization.
- Can you recall Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?
At the highest level, he positioned “Self-Actualisation”: Maslow describes this level as the desire to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be.
So, your employees need opportunities to demonstrate and strengthen their leadership skills. As a great employer, you should be willing to help them pursue career tracks that reflect their talent and their passion. You should foster them in growing more and more (be happy if they become bigger than you). Give them space by revising policies that could be hindering empowerment.
- Families are way stronger than teams: this is going to be your aim. You have to get to know your employers, and to personally talk with them on a regular basis. Gary Vaynerchuck quite often posts videos in which he has meetings with new employees; you might take inspiration from them. You could even plan a weekly/monthly event in which you provide them with updates pertaining to the company.This point is relevant: don’t keep your employees in the dark. They have to know what happens, and this fact is quite related to the first point.
Ask them for their suggestions if you need feedback; they’re part of your family and will be so happy to help you.
- Don’t be a dictator. You should create an environment where the possibility of failure doesn’t frighten your employees. Foster their own creativity. The more they’re free to work as they prefer, the more they’ll be productive.
Go the extra mile and it will become ordinary among your employees.
The golden rule is:
Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.
It sounds very cliché, doesn’t it?
Just like you, I would have thought these rules were so utopian.
BUT, I watched this video:
Steven Bartlett is the 24-year-old CEO and co-founder of Social Chain. In the last few years, he has become an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker and investor, and now leads a company of 100+ like-minded individuals who are quickly disrupting the ever-changing social sphere.
Social Chain is one of the most innovative companies in the world, and their employees have only one rule: do not die.
They gathered lots of creative 20-year-old dropouts. How did Social Chain make them love their job?
They provided unlimited alcohol in the workplace, as many holidays as you like, areas to sleep, weekly “lunch and learn” sessions, etc.
Is it a dream?
The short answer is: no, not at all.
On the contrary, it’s any employer’s dream to have staff who get up in the morning eager to go to work. Social Chain have succeeded in achieving this goal.
16 months from the starting point, they had four headquarters in London, Berlin, Manchester and New York.
They’ve barely recorded any sick days.
Millions of revenue.
What does it mean?
It means that we’ve just found another magic formula to success.
To recap, so far we’ve gathered three formulas:
- Shut up and hustle;
- Retain your customers;
- Engage your employees.
Is the third one as crucial as the others? Yes, it definitely is.
The point is to create an enthusiastic environment in your workplace.
By following the best practices I wrote above, your company and your employees will get tons of benefits.
Don’t miss this opportunity!