Generally, when we believe and care about something, we work hard to maintain and improve it. Most of us know this to be true, wether that’s caring for and helping the members of our family, loving and nourishing our pets, or spending time developing our hobbies.
It’s unfortunate, then, that many people around the world have to work jobs in which they don’t particularly care about the end result. Having a believe in a product or a service can be a great boon for any employee, not only because it helps you feel more comfortable and happy at work, but it gives you the feeling that your efforts have purpose.
As a manager, we should be looking to foster this as much as possible. But of course, it’s crucial to be realistic here. If you run a business selling pipes for plumbing, it’s unlikely that your team are going to have a die-hard appreciation for U-bends and tranches. That said, you may still be able to help them believe in your brand, and enjoy the benefits of that.
But this takes time to earn, and we mustn’t fall into any ridiculous attempts at hoodwinking our staff with illusions. In this post, we’ll discuss how to achieve this and more:
Show Them Your Journey
It’s a good idea to allow employees to believe in your future, but encouraging them to understand and appreciate your past can also help them feel lucky to work for your firm. If you’re in business after a couple of years, you’re no doubt able to show some achievements that you’re proud of – because it takes initiative and worth for a business to survive for that long.
Perhaps you managed to supply a convention with your products in the best way, or have given a speech at your local business forum, or maybe you’re proud to serve three businesses in your local area. Showing them how you’ve grown, the decisions you’ve made along the way, and the mistakes you’ve learned from can help staff care about and want to be part of your journey. There are many ways of showcasing this, from a written blog fixture on your website, to a timeline display you use, or a yearly newsletter you showcase for employees only – all of this can make a positive difference.
Involve Them In Your Ambition
It’s important to make sure your employees know that your ambition is only achievable with them there to help you. Every element of their effort, from cleaning the offices to interfacing directly with clients will sustain the entire operation.
We can showcase exactly how and why they’re making a difference, but constant reinforcement is actually more helpful than a singular ‘thank you’ when the end of the year rolls around. For instance, think of how employee recognition software can help any team constantly and concretely give praise in a substantial manner. This helps reinforce the fact that your employees deserve respect, and that their work is noticed – without having to constantly throw generic praise in their lap.
Celebrate Them As Part Of Your Team
It can be nice to remind your staff that they are part of the team, using measures that identify them as working alongside the colleagues they appreciate. A ‘meet the team’ page on your website could showcase a picture and a small description of you as a manager and the employees that work alongside you.
Of course, outfitting them with a laptop or other device, an email address, and a lanyard/name badge can go towards defining this sense of belonging too, outside of being practical steps we must use to help our employees function in their jobs.
Provide Incentives To Care
Why should an employee care for your business? Well, providing an incentive to care might be a good idea. For instance, rewarding them should certain project deadlines be met, perhaps with bonuses on their end of year salary – could help them tie up the success of your firm with very real compensatory rewards that make sense.
It might just be that you care for your employees by making sure oatmeal, raisin bran and excellent coffee is awaiting them each morning should they wish to use it. Ensuring the offices and toilet facilities are spotless after a nightly cleaning is also worthwhile. Little investments like this can ensure your employees are well looked after at the ground level – so that the idea of coming into the office or workplace at 8.45am sharp is hardly one they have to groan at.
Allow Your Standards To Shine
It can be nice to help employees believe in your firm by seeing your appreciated policies and protocols work for them. For instance, allowing customer support agents the freedom and authority to enact solutions on customer accounts without solely having to follow a script can help them feel a little more engaged in their work, as well as terminate the calls should customers become aggressive or disrespectful without consequence.
This is just one example of a standard shining, another may be investing in comfortable and ergonomic furniture so that long stints sat in front of the computer need not denigrate posture or comfort. Some firms are investing in standing desks for this very reason.
Help Develop Their Careers
Sure, your employees will be generally appreciative to have a job and will work hard for it, provided they are fairly compensated and treated well. What really allows someone to shine in their role, however, is feeling that their work has purpose and can develop their career and professional standing over time. They deserve that much.
Taking a healthy interest in their careers, investing in their training, and making sure that over time, they have the chance of raising within your ranks or if they need to apply for another job, that you give them a glowing reference can help them work for you like nothing before, cherishing their time with your company and the opportunities it provided. Structuring this kind of career development architecture, then, is more than worthwhile.
With this advice, you’re certain to not dictate, but gently encourage your employees to believe in your brand.