Here are three important “to do’s” that businesses often overlook and, as an added bonus, they won’t cost you a cent to put into practice.
Make it Fair If you want more than grudging compliance from your employees, you’ll have to ensure they feel as though they are genuinely getting a fair go. As a business owner or manager, your job is to make decisions. Some people will agree with your decisions and some won’t. But you can get them to cooperate with implementing your decisions, even when they don’t agree. The answer – fair process. If employees believe they’ve honestly been heard, it goes a long way towards getting their buy in, regardless of whether decisions go in their favour. I operate by the principle, “everyone gets their say, but not everyone will get their way.” To achieve fair process, you have to intentionally engage people in the decision making process. You can’t make decisions and “engage” people after the fact. That mistake is what I call “creating an illusion of inclusion”, and it destroys engagement instead of building it.
Make it Fulfilling I left a well-paid, respected position with a major corporation because of widespread mismanagement, utter lack of leadership and, most importantly, the soul-destroying feeling that I was accomplishing nothing of any significance. Everyone wants their work to provide a sense of autonomy, the opportunity to master a skill set and, ultimately, a fulfilling purpose. Making more money for the business’ owners (or even themselves) isn’t a sufficient motivator to keep people engaged. If you create a fulfilling vision, based on a shared purpose that goes beyond what your employees could each achieve individually, it will become a powerful driver of job satisfaction and loyalty.
Make it Fun At a minimum, we spend 1/3 of our lives at work. So it should be fun – at least sometimes. In my experience, businesses that take themselves too seriously are businesses that struggle to reach their full potential. It’s difficult for anyone to consistently produce their best work under the pressure, stress and lack of joy that accompanies workplaces enforcing a strict “no fun” policy. On the other hand, businesses that actively promote an environment where employees are given permission to have fun have been proven to be more productive, more profitable and have a lower rate of staff turnover than average.