Sometimes employees feel like they have reached a plateau and either hit the ceiling and can’t possibly get any better or they have no place to grow. As important as it is to have fulfilled employees, letting them settle into a pocket of comfort stunts organizational growth. When employees feel like they have hit a wall and/or have no room to grow, they are more likely to check out.
Creating a culture of continuous improvement in any organization is a pillar of effective employee engagement. Administering an employee engagement survey and then trying to implement change will not come easy if the company does not embrace the concept of the culture of improvement as a cornerstone to organizational health. The tone of the organization relies heavily on the messaging and behavior of the senior managers.
So, where to begin?
- Communicate your organization’s expectations to your employees and managers on a regular basis. Make sure the chain of communication is clear and open so that employees can respond and ask for clarification if need be. You’d be alarmed at how often senior managers assume employees are aware of the company’s expectations without explicitly stating them. Leave no room for interpretation here.
- Continuous improvement requires training, information, and education. Assess your employees’ needs and offer workshops to help employees hone skills.
- Keep communication open for employees to ask questions, get extra information and any help they need to fulfill the organization’s expectations.
- Give feedback, not just at the annual review, instead throughout the year. Make sure employees know what they are doing right and what they need to improve.
- Be consistent. If you have an incentives program, or have implemented strategies to reward good work, the goals needed to reach these incentives must be clear and consistent. This way, employees always know where they stand in the organization.
- Celebrate innovation. To do so, you have to give your employees room to make mistakes. No one will take risks in the company if they do not feel secure. Creation is a process, one that is flawed and has moments of glaring imperfection.
- Every employee matters. This is crucial in creating a culture of improvement and respect. Every single employee that wears your uniform, answers your phones, cleans the offices … every single one matters and their work brings integrity to the company.
Fostering a culture of continuous improvement is a foundation of employee engagement and triggers growth and success as an organization.