Everybody wants their employees to be more engaged. But too often the question remains: Engaged to what?
You have a vision of what your company stands for and where you want it to go. But if you haven’t shared it with your team, they won’t be able to get excited about it. Even if they really want to!
To increase employee engagement, you must first increase awareness.
We all want and need to contribute to the overall organizational vision. Unfortunately, many of us have no real idea what that vision is, much less how it connects to our role and subsequent performance. Many times, this is true even at the highest levels.
In order to be able to share your vision, first you’re going to have to agree on what it is.
Get your leadership team together and clearly define the following:
- Values – What things are truly important in our organization?
- Vision – Where exactly do we want to go?
- Goals – What are we going to accomplish?
- Objectives – What results are necessary to achieve our goals?
- Behaviors – What consistent actions are required to meet our objectives?
- Tasks – What specific activities are needed to hit objectives?
After you’ve identified the components of the company vision, it’s time for the next all-important step. Sharing them!
Communicate the company vision to everyone in the organization. Don’t just send a quick email. Do it in a way that is meaningful so your team truly understands the message. Help them become connected to the core of who you are as a company. Make them part of it. Tell them how they fit in.
This is where engagement starts.
After you’ve defined your vision and shouted it from the rooftops, the next step is tying it back to performance.
Each person plays a role in achieving company goals and making the overall vision happen, but you need to make sure this isn’t just a pretty idea you’re talking about. Bring it to life by connecting roles to results, and make sure these things are tangible and measurable.
Start by focusing on the goals of the company. These are what drive the subsequent objectives and tasks employees are expected to perform. Often, goals tend to focus on profitability, employee satisfaction, client satisfaction, and/or growth.
Making it happen
Once you have your organizational goals in place, it’s time for everyone to get to work. And for that work to get done efficiently and with purpose, the following things need to happen:
- Job descriptions and tasks to be assessed and updated using the company vision, goals and objectives as the guiding principles.
- Employees need to clearly understand role expectations, duties, and performance metrics – and how they relate back to the vision.
- Supervisors should provide regular check-ins to track progress and provide guidance, accountability, recognition, and mentorship.
Regular, frequent check-in sessions are imperative to connecting and engaging with your employees. This time investment may seem cumbersome, but it will pay off. Because you’ve been monitoring and reviewing performance regularly throughout the year, the annual review process simply becomes one more review session.
Instead of a stressful meeting with a year’s worth of feedback and discussion crammed in over coffee or lunch, you’re merely reviewing things you’ve already discussed. There should be no surprises here.
It’s inevitable that your company will change over time. So should your vision, goals and objectives. Think of this as an ongoing process of definition, evaluation, and execution.
Check in with leadership at least annually to make sure your vision and behaviors are all still in alignment, and communicate continually with staff to reinforce who you are and what drives the organization.
Employees won’t engage with an organization they don’t know. Make sure yours is one worth committing to.
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