What is employee engagement and more importantly what the FIG does it have to do with your brand? Well, like we’ve previously stated, your brand is every-thing. And like everything else, your employee engagement plays an important role in your brand. Probably one of the more important parts of your business, especially if you have a brick-and-mortar.
The key to remember is that successful employee engagement ultimately drives growth. When employees are engaged they not only look at the whole of the company but they truly understand their purpose and what role they play in the organization. And not only what role they play, but what impact they have on the overall success of the business.
This leads not only to, obvious effects, such as better customer service and a healthier company culture but also better decision making. Research shows that companies with engaged employees actually outperform their competition, they have a higher earning per share (EPS) and they are more resilient during a recession and financial setback.
So as a small business how can you improve employee engagement?
Don't underestimate cultural fit.
This is one that small businesses often overlook, but we can’t stress enough the importance of not underestimating the cultural fit. Do your employees believe in your mission and vision? Do they align with your values? For example, if you run a Doggy Daycare, would you hire someone who hates dogs? Probably not. So why then if you run a beauty salon would you not hire a receptionist who is as passionate about beauty as the stylists? We challenge you to look for these qualities as much as you look at a candidate's experience and skillset. It might be a good idea to take a chance on a less experienced candidate who's a better cultural fit.
Be deliberate about expressing the value employees bring to the company/
Make your employees’ value known to them and how important their role is. We often consult with clients who ask “How do I make my employees work as hard as I do?” Well the honest answer is, you don’t. Why would they work as hard as the owner when they don’t have equity or a stake in the company? It’s an unrealistic expectation. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find employees that are passionate and driven by what they do and that will in itself drive them to perform. Know your team and understand what motivates them.
Reward good performance.
Too often companies focus so much on punishing bad performance that they forget to reward good performance. Research suggests that the majority of employees, the ones that are not in the bottom 10% or top 10% are more motivated by the potential of a reward for improving their performance than they are by the threats given to the low performers.
Employee engagement is a growing research field, and no wonder given its direct impact on growth! For a small business it might not seem like something to pay attention to but just focusing on filling a vacancy and not looking for the right fit can often do more harm than good. At FIG, we always say we would rather have an empty seat than the wrong person in it.