Business leaders face seemingly endless challenges when it comes to managing people. Rates of disengagement remain high while retention rates seem to be dropping simultaneously in today’s competitive environment. Frequently, challenges stem from company culture, where employees either feel stifled, under-appreciated or unmotivated.
“I feel that my work is meaningful and I am making the impact I want to, in my organization, community and the world.” – less than 35% of your workforce, according to recent findings by career expert Kathy Caprino.
Managers may recognize that individuals perform optimally when purpose, goals and culture are all in alignment, and consistently reinforced. Yet despite our best efforts, our engagement programs don’t often produce long-term results, or at least not the ones we’re looking for.
Fortunately, sometimes a simple tweak can turn a lackluster program to a star performer. When you take the time to systematize and align purpose and productivity you motivate your team to optimize results.
3 barriers to program success, 3 simple breakthroughs
- Solving the wrong problem. It’s critically important to survey your workforce to confirm where the disconnects or challenges lie. Typically it’s not where you think!
One company I worked with provided extensive training to employees, yet managers were still frustrated with the lack of implementation by their employees. As it turns out, the training material was not even being viewed by most of the employees, since it was difficult to access and the value of participation had not been clearly communicated.
- Not providing a sense of purpose Today’s employees, from Baby Boomers to new-hire Generation Y, are increasingly concerned with the concept of contributing to the greater good through their work. They’re driven to find a sense of purpose. So intense is this aspiration, surveys show that the need to have a positive impact on society outweighs the importance of salary for both generations. (Daniel Pink, Drive).
Yet companies that identify the greater purpose their organization fulfills in their mission statement can share that sense of purpose with employees to improve job satisfaction and performance.
A successful corporate culture commingles employee needs with performance objectives, and then implements using a holistic, long-term strategy.
- Lack of ongoing engagement or recognition A recent study done by Oracle found most employees feel engaged because of their coworkers, not their managers. The study polled close to 1,500 workers of European businesses, finding 42% said it was their peers who help define how engaged they felt at work, as opposed to HR, to which they attributed a 4% impact.
These participants listed better communication and recognition for a job well done as suggestions for HR and management looking to boost engagement levels. So be sure that your programs or systems offer opportunities for ongoing communication and recognition to keep your employees working happy!
When you solve the right problems, enabling people to align a sense of purpose with performance goals, and providing opportunities for collaboration and recognition, you create a win-win both for the individual and for the organization.