Ah, hearing sweet words of appreciation, surprise gifts that thrill and delight, receiving billet-doux when least expected – we’re here to tell you that employee engagement has a lot in common with a marriage!
No, we’re not advocating taking your employees out for dinner à deux when they show initiative, however, we are saying that the elements that make a successful marriage have a lot in common with employee engagement.
Communication is key
A spouse may be happy – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the marriage is thriving, just that one partner is content with the status quo. A successful marriage is one where both parties are striving towards a common aim, growing and flourishing together as their relationship prospers. Likewise, as in a marriage, an employee needs to be engaged in order to bring the best of themselves to the task. This signifies not merely being content with their lot but striving to do the best they can at any given task. When a company mission is clearly communicated throughout the workforce, both employer and employee can work together to achieve the same goal.
Mutual trust must be earned A secretive spouse is a ticking timebomb in a marriage. They create an atmosphere of distrust and a toxic environment. Consider then an organisation where the C-suite execs sit in an ivory tower behind closed doors. Whispers and rumours abound. It is hard to concentrate on the task at hand in such an atmosphere, never mind strive towards an unknown future. An open, honest relationship is the only way to create mutual trust. Be honest with your employees, keep channels of communication flowing freely and by showing you trust them, they will trust you right back thereby creating a workplace where problems and ideas can be openly communicated. Remember, innovation can only come from a place of trust.
Strengths are praised, weaknesses overlooked One of the best bits of marriage advice this author was ever offered was by a Yorkshireman who confided, ‘tha’s got to gi’ a bit,’ when asked what was his secret to a long and happy marriage. For the non-Yorkshire-speakers amongst you, what he meant was: don’t focus on the bad, accentuate the good. No-one wants to feel micro-managed and constantly criticised at work – neither do they want to perceive their hard work is going unnoticed. Just as in a marriage, a note of appreciation can reap rewards far beyond the time and effort it takes to say, ‘thanks!’
Still not convinced employee engagement is necessary for your organisation? Don’t just take our word for it. According to a recent Gallup report,
85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. The economic consequences of this global “norm” are approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity. Eighteen percent are actively disengaged in their work and workplace, while 67% are “not engaged.” This latter group makes up the majority of the workforce — they are not your worst performers, but they are indifferent to your organization. They give you their time, but not their best effort nor their best ideas. They likely come to work wanting to make a difference — but nobody has ever asked them to use their strengths to make the organization better.
Schoop offers employers the tools to communicate company goals, to build trusting relationships between staff and management, and to deliver an environment where employees feel valued and nurtured. Ask us for a free demo – we can’t help with your marriage, but we can certainly help with employee engagement!!