Baskets of goodies, holiday bonuses, dinners, and parties are all part of America’s corporate culture. It’s not uncommon for organizations to celebrate the holidays, and the end of the year, with one, or many, of these things. This, no doubt, is something employees look forward to throughout the year. But creating a culture that taps into what your employees really want all year is the best way to keep employees engaged and productive.
So, what’s on your employees’ wish list?
1. Opportunities. Employees need opportunities to grow and thrive. Having a culture of improvement as part of the organizational DNA, opportunities to learn, to specialize, to advance, are vital to employee engagement, all year.
2. Balance. Even though technology enables everyone to be connected 24 hours/day, it doesn’t mean we should be connected to our employees 24 hours/day. Setting clear boundaries, honoring that work/life balance, and keeping those spaces of life sacred for employees is more important now than ever. Leave the “everything for the job” mentality to Hollywood dramas.
3. Accountability. Expect your employees to step up and perform. Accountability, on all levels, creates a dynamic workplace that also fosters autonomous employees. It’s one of the most critical pieces of employee engagement. Moreover, when employees are held accountable for the work they are expected to produce coupled with a culture of healthy risk taking, organizations, and employees, flourish.
4. Feedback. Don’t fall into the feedback famine trap. Talk to your employees! There are so many ways to connect with them – through e-mails, messages, formal feedback processes like 360 degree surveys and more. Feedback is the single most powerful tool managers have and is often the least used one.
5. A voice. Do your employees really have teeth in the game? Do you listen to ideas? Do you provide them with opportunities to try new things, contribute in significant processes, grow? Remember, you’re not barking orders from a megaphone, instead building collaborative processes that allow employees to take the lead.
6. Transparency. There are few things more unsettling to employees than not knowing what to expect, feeling that they’re not being given the whole story. Being straightforward with employees, with the good and the bad, builds a culture of trust. Company goals should be clear – short, medium, and long-term. Feedback should be candid and kind.
Don’t save the good stuff for the end of the year. Give your employees these gifts to empower them and improve engagement and production. We wish you happy, safe holidays!