The phrase ‘employee engagement’ always lands on me flat, lifeless. There’s distance inherent in the phrase that, well, doesn’t actually feel engaging at all.
Yet, what makes employees actually want to greet their work and their co-workers with energy and focus, now that’s easy to get behind.
And that can all be summed up in one word. Care.
In a culture where people feel cared about they respond with all sorts of energy, enthusiasm, and passion. So much so that they’ll even go the distance when it’s required, what the experts at Gallup call ‘discretionary effort.’
Like those times the office is buzzing under a tight deadline and the IT staff person happily stays late. Or, when the office manager comes in with everyone’s favorite coffee because it’s crunch time and he/she knows the impact of a great cup o’ joe.
Organizations with higher levels of employee engagement enjoy higher net profit margins with less turnover, absenteeism, and safety incidents.
And beyond the basics of compensation and advancement opportunities, engaged employees reveal the impact of care: they trust their leaders, they have good relationships with their bosses, and they care for themselves by managing their own work-life balance and stress levels.
When people know you care about them, they care back. They commit their energies and loyalties toward forwarding the organization’s vision and goals, not just their own.
In a Conscious Culture, the care involved in employee engagement underpins the very social fabric of the business. This, in turn, permeates business decisions, connecting not only the employees but all stakeholders to one another and to the company’s higher purpose.
So, what if we simply called it care – and committed to practicing it. Every day.
Employee Engagement = CARE
Check out the “CARE” ideas below to support high levels of energy, enthusiasm and engagement in your workplace.
- Get to know the names of your colleague’s partners and kids, extended family even. Ask what they’re up to with genuine interest.
- Greet someone each morning at work, using their name. “Morning, Joe.”
- Sign your team up to attend the Conscious Capitalism 101: Building Conscious Business from the Inside Out together November 2,2018. You’ll learn the basic Four Pillars of Conscious Capitalism and tap into a shared language of a care culture.
- Offer to do that nasty task at the office that everyone hates.
- Acknowledge not only wins, but disappointments too. “I know that deal (project, grant, plan, report) didn’t pan out like you’d hoped, yet I thought you handled it well.”
- Pay it forward. Pop to buy coffee or lunch — for someone unsuspecting. Smile about it.
- Take time, especially if you’re the boss, to thank someone for closing the loop on a tight deadline, when everyone’s nerves are on edge.