Get the most out of each employee
To measure the success of an organization, you don’t have to look much further than the employees that make it go. Are they happy to be there? Do they take pride in their work? Can they acknowledge they’re a part of something bigger? The answer to these questions will more often than not, be dependent upon your employee’s level of engagement.
If you’re a Lean organization, then you know first hand how import an employee’s level of engagement is to your culture and success of your business. Creating a culture where each and every employee is equally engaged is a challenge that few have the answers for, but all are in search of.
So what do you do? First off, you need to have a complete understanding of the dynamics that make up your organization’s population. You don’t need statistics, raw data, charts, or any kind of number for that matter. In fact, just throw the numbers out the window and engage your employees with the same energy that you expect from them.
To get started, seek out the employees who are visibly the most productive and find out what makes them tick. Find the disinterested employee and ask them what’s on their mind. This is the type of information that moving forward, will help you develop the tools to get the engagement you need from each employee and increase productivity along the way.
Easier Said Than Done
Maybe, but in a Lean organization, every employee is a valuable asset and should be treated as such. This type of respect and trust goes a long way when you’re trying to build a culture that everyone feels equally a part of.
A culture, like any ecosystem has many dynamic parts that are always changing and evolving. In order to understand its needs and help it thrive, you need to be on the ground level to help push it along. You can’t do this from an office or a cell phone, you need to get to the “gemba,” get to the front lines and be the motivator that employees want to model themselves after.
Bring People Together
The difference between the employee who does the minimum amount of work to the one who puts in everything they have every day, may be smaller than you think once you start digging.
These same two employees may despise each other on the job because of their differences in work ethic, but given the opportunity outside the typical work setting, and you might find the two have more in common than they thought.
The more company functions you can promote, will go a long way in building your culture and engagement among your employees. From the company softball team, to the Friday BBQ, these type of events bring employees together that might have never spoken to one another. This allows them the opportunity to engage with one another, building solid relationships that can help motivate and improve effort in the workplace.
Providing opportunities that bring employees together not only builds employee moral, but shows that you care about your employees. You can’t expect an employee to fully engage themselves into your organization if they feel like just another body. Make them feel a part of something bigger and watch the transformation unfold.
A survey by the consulting firm BlessingWhite shows the value of an engaged employee to your organization.
- 40 percent of employees reported feeling engaged in 2012. A 33 percent increase from 2011.
- 55 percent said they “definitely” intend to stay in their jobs. With “intent to stay” being an indicator of their commitment to company success. 12 percent said “no way.”
- 48 percent agreed or strongly agreed that they have career opportunities with their employer.
- 74 percent of engaged workers agree or strongly agree that they trust their manager. For disengaged workers, the number was just 14 percent.
It stands to reason that managers who develop awareness of trust and how to earn it will have much greater success in engaging their team members.