For most, having employees is a necessity for running a successful business. Even though this is true, finding and retaining talented employees who give their all can be more of a headache than a piece of cake. The truth is that many employers and their leadership teams often overlook the fact that employees are the people at the heart of the company. If the heart isn’t healthy and being engaged, dysfunction is going to be the result.
The key to changing culture in the workplace is to engage the heart of each employee before attempting to engage their brain. When there is a lack of connection there is a lack of commitment. One powerful way to create a connection for each employee is to tell your story. Share the vision of your company and the goals that have been set. Being vulnerable about challenges you are trying to overcome is a way to not only engage your employees’ heart but also opens a door for them to show innovation and leadership by contributing ideas and effort to overcome hurdles and roadblocks to the company’s success
Another way to take steps to engage the heart of your employee is to set clear expectations. As uncomplicated as this sounds, it is not uncommon for employees to be hired without ever being given their actual job description. Employees want and need to know, clearly and specifically, what is expected of them. This includes both job tasks and organizational culture behaviors.
Communication is also a powerful tool in creating a positive work culture. Communicate effectively and appoint leaders who can do the same. Provide the tools and coaching to help leaders and managers learn to communicate at a high level, fostering more productive and engaging relationships within their teams.
Being an active listener is a powerful way to create a thriving healthy team. Everyone wants to be heard. Show your leaders, peers, and employees that what they have to say is important by really listening. Put down your phone, turn to face whoever is speaking, avoid distractions and summarize what is said to you. Remember to take action after the conversation is over, if necessary. Actively listening shows respect and builds trust.
The bottom line is that when an employee’s heart is engaged they will engage their brain all on their own. Employees who are connected to their work in this way are more productive, efficient and contribute to a work culture that breeds success and creates leaders. As your business grows, hiring top talent in the marketplace will become more important, and retaining that talent will be as equally as important. By working to truly connect with the people you are putting at the heart of your business you will have no problem doing both.