By Kelly Barcelos (Tech Writer)
What comes to your mind when you think of your IT business? How do you feel when you step into your office (or turn on your Zoom call)? What kind of vibe prevails? Is it positive? Energetic? Or Uninspiring? Are your techs and employees happy and satisfied, or are they simply dragging themselves to work? Are they empowered or just working for the weekend? All of these factors influence the culture of your company.
Lets explore the ways a good HR professional can help IT managers and entrepreneurs create an engagement-driven company culture.
"To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace." - Doug Conant.
A Good Culture Attracts Good Talent
In the era of job-hopping, employee engagement is your key to creating a culture that attracts and retains the right candidates. So, if you want to build a culture of employee engagement, a good HR manager will help IT pros and entrepreneurs introduce these seven steps into your business's recruitment strategies.
Make Company Culture Fit Your Focus From The Very Start
Every new hire wants to fit in. It can be very demoralizing and frustrating for those who don't quite blend in with your company's culture. In fact, a study published by IBM revealed that 20% of new hires leave their jobs because they feel like a misfit.
A recruitment process that focuses on the culture fit from the very start makes it much easier to boost the level of employee engagement. This, in turn, keeps your employees happy and engaged, thus reducing turnover and increasing the retention rate.
Involve Everyone In Team Decisions
There are many companies with great employee engagement initiatives but the one that really sets the bar high is Southwest. This affordable airline is renowned for its employee satisfaction and enthusiasm levels.
The company involves the team members in every decision it makes. In fact, when the brand was redesigning its uniforms, the employees were allowed to select the fabric and colors of their choice and also vote for the final decision.
Companies that understand the importance of creating a culture of employee engagement truly value the opinions of their employees and ensure equal participation in every vital decision. They collect honest feedback, so their employees know that their suggestions play a vital role in company success.
Schedule Periodic Check Ins
While it is not possible to change the company culture overnight, HR plays a crucial role in driving the culture by conducting an ongoing feedback loop.
Periodic check-ins at both the individual level and the team level are needed for ensuring employee satisfaction. Understanding employees' expectations, tracking their progress, and helping them set career goals helps in motivating both you and your employees to succeed.
Periodic checks also help resolve minor issues before they become significant problems while promoting the morale of employees.
Promote Peer Recognition
Workplace recognition does not always need to come from top management. Start a reward program for employees to appreciate and acknowledge each other. Give employees a reason to congratulate each other for efforts beyond their daily work responsibilities. A peer recognition program will promote positive interactions and enhances team bonding.
Organize Friendly Competitions
Introduce an element of friendly games that allows you to spur employee engagement and not animosity. Gamification is a great way to engage employees, and when contests are incentivized, they motivate employees exceptionally well.
Organizing team-based competitions will deepen relationships when teammates push each other and trust each other. If any unhealthy rivalry exists, it can be easily countered by asking employees to vote for the winner.
Here are two super fun team building activities that are easy to organize and won't break your budget:
In this game, the instructor will divide the group into 2 teams while ensuring each team has an equal number of participants. Both the groups should be given pens, papers, and a roadmap. The two teams should be given the same map and parameters to plan a vacation. In this game, both teams are required to plan a vacation in 15 minutes without exceeding the given parameters, and they are to be given the same start and endpoint.
They should also be provided with essential supplies like money, food, and transport for travel. Both the teams must pen down their plans while ensuring they do not run out of any essential supplies. This game will get your employees together as a team with a common goal of planning a seamless holiday in less than 15 minutes.
This is a trust-building activity that can be conducted in a large area with grass. The participants can choose their partner for this game, where one will act as the leader, and the other will be the follower. The leader is supposed to instruct the blindfolded follower when they are out for a slow 3-minute walk.
This exercise is to be done while holding hands with the partner. This ensures that the follower gets acquainted with the leader and can follow instructions easily. The activity can then be followed by a jog and then by a fast 15-second run. The participants can take breaks in between if needed. Once the entire walk-jog-run exercise is complete, the follower can become the leader and repeat the same pattern.
At the end of the exercise, you can have a team discussion where the participants can narrate their experience and share if it was easy or difficult for them to trust their partners.
Unite Peas Of The Same Pod
People with similar likes and interests already have an inbuilt bond. You can strengthen it further with sponsored intramural teams or by forming interest-focused clubs. Organize book clubs or sports clubs and extend invites across the board. This will bring like-minded individuals together, even if they have never crossed paths.
Take An Employee Engagement Survey
Asking employees to take a pulse survey will engage them and help the hiring team track the office environment's health.
Quick employee engagement surveys with less than 10 questions will make the survey easy and increase the completion rate. While the survey will work to engage employees, the survey's insights will help the hiring managers contribute to the company's future success.
Engaged employees are self-driven to perform, more likely to be satisfied with the company's culture, and fully invested in contributing to the company's success. They are the most important resources any company or entrepreneur can have. So, step up your employee engagement game with these tips that can be easily implemented at low or no cost to the company.