Company culture ranks high on the list of corporate buzzwords in today’s transient business ecosystem. These days, it’s less about short-term investment in employee happiness and more about long-term investment in company growth, reports Forbes.
If I were to spend a day in your office and ask each employee to define your company’s mission, how similar would their answers be? If the thought of your employees answering questions on behalf of your company makes you laugh, cringe, or worry, you’ve got some work to do.
Gallup’s most recent annual State of the American Workplace reported that “engaged employees are more present and productive,” meaning that employee productivity, and essentially your company’s profitability, is driven by a substantial amount of employee awareness and interest in your company’s success. Gallup gathered that these subtle differences in employee engagement can “result in 21% greater profitability.”
So, if your company wants to see off-the-charts results from a team of employees who will stick with you, or at least make greatness endemic for you, it’s time you connect the most important culture dots to cultivate employee engagement.
Three Must-Haves To Empower Your Employees To Thrive:
- Strength of the company vision;
- Point of connection;
- and Opportunities for finding belonging.
To assess where your company stands, let’s consider the age-old scenario that a team is only as strong as its weakest player. Before taking any action, ask yourself what comes first: having strong people to build a fruitful culture or having a strong culture that allures effective employees?
The answer: Both and neither. So forget trying to find the perfect entry point and simply enter from where you are right now. No matter where you begin, it is never too late to establish a culture of engagement— you’ll need strength in vision, interactive ways for your employees to connect with said vision, and opportunities for each and every employee to feel like they matter to not only your company as a whole, but to the people they interact with on a daily basis.2. Point of Connection
The disconnect between people and purpose.
It is important to remember that employees are people like you and I. People want to know where their time is going and what it’s contributing to; more specifically, employees want to know where your company is going and how they too can fit into the larger picture. This knowledge, when paired with a strong company vision, will essentially serve as a launch pad for employees to explore their inner-potential and expand their thinking about how and where they can grow with the company. Employees will be more driven to productively complete minute and tedious tasks if they have a bigger picture in mind.
“We all have a primal need to feel like we matter.”
Body language analyst and NYT bestselling author Janine Driver spent over a decade working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Remarkably, Driver now finds herself employing the same principles she used in hostage negotiations to help companies create cultures of empowerment as they grow their teams. Driver explains that “when people feel they matter and belong, cooperation becomes a natural byproduct.” The bond among employees not only exemplifies the inherent need to fit in, but also breeds collaboration, communication, and cohesion: all cornerstones for growth.
In order to feel a sense of belonging, people must be given opportunities to share what they’re all about— both at work and outside the office.3. Opportunities for Finding Belonging
How to build the culture your business is missing:
First, determine what you’re asking your employees to fight for (the company vision). Next, explain why each employee is integral to your company’s success (point of connection). Finally, offer training which might be slightly uncomfortable, but will work to unite all employees through shared experiences (belonging). Enter: a new spin on company retreats.
Taking your company on a retreat is a great way to foster employee belonging in a refreshing environment outside the office. Campowerment combines a sleep-away camp inspired experience with inventive techniques to help grown ups “live better.” Campowerment creates custom-curated retreat programs that are specifically geared towards improving your company’s culture and its employee dynamic. Campowerment’s retreats seamlessly infuse playtime into your company’s professional agenda, thereby facilitating collective growth.
Tammi Leader Fuller, founder of Campowerment, has uniquely sculpted a cost-effective twist on the traditional corporate retreat by wrapping a company’s professional agenda around competitive color war games, drum circles by the campfire, scavenger hunts, unique fitness classes, and other activities. In addition, expert-driven workshops are offered on topics such as accountability, integrity, thriving through uncertain times, dethroning your inner critic, and body language analysis. Janine Driver, as mentioned above, leads several of these workshops.
Campowerment has real results, as explained by BioMatrix CEO Bruce Greenberg. Greenberg was looking for an unconventional sales experience for his healthcare company employees to share their ideas and strategies. So, this past winter, Greenberg brought 90 employees to Campowerment where he found that “the camp environment helped push us past our comfort levels allowing our team to grow, connect and lay the foundation for a unified culture and company.”Better Together:
When your employees are self-aware and communicative, they learn how to make each other better, in service of your vision.
I get it, offering your employees a holistic opportunity to improve their lives can seem unfeasible and needless, but having your people know that you genuinely care about their needs and interests is critical to your company’s outcome. Through a shared experience, interactions can be taken to the next level, giving employees something to genuinely gab about “beyond the campfire.”
When your company actually becomes part of the solution to its own problems, you can inadvertently move the needle on your business. Your goal should not only entail solving isolated problems as they arise in your company, but it should actively work towards building a collective workplace that facilitates a positive and support-driven community for all employees, no matter their position or skillset. Now is your time to make a change in not just what your company does, but how your team does it.