When employee engagement is lost – don’t let this happen to you!
We are constantly researching strategies to help your company improve employee experience and engagement. In the course of our research, sadly, our point is sometimes proven in a negative way. Take this recent example.
Employee communication builds companies Bob (names and some details have been changed to protect privacy) began at Unilated Co. twenty nine years ago when the company was still very much in its infancy. Just two people worked at the fledgling agricultural supplies company: the founder and Managing Director, David, and his brother-in-law, Tim. The company soon grew as its reputation for first class products and excellent customer care grew. Bob loved going into work, thanks to his great relationship with his boss and the excellent employee rapport that was soon established. ‘I felt like the luckiest man alive,’ Bob affirms of these early years.
More employees – same engagement As the company proceeded to outgrow two further premises, the production staff grew commensurately. The MD maintained communication however, and employed an open-door policy to ensure employees always felt that their suggestions would be listened to. ‘We felt part of a big family’, reminisced one of the attendees, ‘there was a real camaraderie’. In other words, the whole team was fully engaged.
Employee engagement in action As a seasonal industry, there would be periods where, as the MD puts it, ‘we needed all hands on deck’. Bob recalls, “we were happy to work late, come in at weekends or unsocial hours – and it was not unusual to see the boss working alongside us. We’d do anything for him because we knew he wouldn’t ask us to do anything he wouldn’t.” They were happy times and all remember them fondly, the feeling that everyone was working towards the success of the company and taking pride in achieving a shared goal.
New management lose employee motivation Eventually, the success of the company came to the attention of a larger organisation and Unilated Co. was bought out, to be swallowed up within a much larger operation. A new MD was put in place. I recently caught up with Bob, five years after the acquisition. He is still there, but ‘I hate it’, was his response when asked how his role had developed. ‘The new MD doesn’t know anyone’s name. We never hear from him. No-one really socialises outside office hours. I come in, do what I have to do and then go home.’ When asked why he’s still there, his response was, ‘I can’t wait to leave. I have been looking and as soon as a suitable position opens up, I’ll snap it up. These people don’t know who I am, and worse, don’t seem to care what I do – why should I feel loyal to them?’
Don’t let it happen to you! Employees need to know that you value them and are interested in what they have to say. They need to feel invested and included in decisions that affect them, as well as safe in the knowledge that their input will be valued. How do you attain this level of engagement? Speak to Schoop. We deliver direct communication channels to ensure every employee, near or far, knows you value them and are listening. A happy workforce is a productive workforce. What are you waiting for?