By Iain Thomson, Director of Incentive and Recognition at Sodexo Engage
Back in the day, a company was just a place where people did their job nine o’clock to five o’clock. They didn’t necessarily need to believe in what the business was doing, they were just looking for their pay cheque at the end of the week.
But times have changed. Businesses now need their employees to get on board with what the organisation is about and what it’s trying to achieve. This isn’t an easy thing to do, especially when trying to get everyone – from the most junior person to most senior exec – on side.
Staff belief is important
Let’s face it, with pressures to meet client demand, increase profits and company performance all on the agenda, it’s easy to forget about the importance of having a loyal team of employees who believe in the business and are invested in its future. When your people are behind your company, they’ll be motivated to help it grow. It makes sense, right? The more staff get the business, the more they’ll be willing to help out when things are a bit tougher.
Staff belief is more than just improving how your people get on board with the business. It can also benefit the company in a whole bunch of ways. If employees are behind the values of the business, they’ll be more likely to stay part of the company for longer. There’s also the added benefit of your team inspiring new joiners with the same enthusiasm and eagerness that you have for the company. But most of all, if your team believe in where the business is going and the role they have to play in it – they’ll work hard to make sure it gets there.
Getting staff on side
So, you’re on board with belief, but what next? There’s a bit more work to it than just simply having a meeting and asking your employees to ‘believe in the business’. You need to build up that trust, getting employees to see why the ideals and goals of the business are good things to work towards. Hosting workshops and training days are important to inspire everyone, but you need to also get something in place when it comes to the day-to-day.
This is where incentivising your people comes into play. When your staff see a tangible reward that matches the company’s values, then they’ll be more likely to keep doing it. It’s pretty obvious really, but it’s something that businesses too often overlook.
Before you start handing out early finishes and gift cards, you need to understand what the company values are and, more importantly, how they can be shown every day. If the company’s keen to highlight growth, new business leads can be something your people work towards.
If you want to promote a collaborative environment, getting your employees to succeed as a team on a project can be a clear reason to reward them. Whatever the business values, making sure that employees understand how they can demonstrate them will help create a reward system where staff seek to reflect the goals of the business.
Effective team leaders and managers will do a lot to make sure employees are being recognised for their efforts. They’ll be able to point out those that have shown they’re behind the company’s values and goals, making sure that people are being rewarded for their hard work. With team managers onboard and proactively taking part, you’ll also find that the successes and behaviours you want will increase, as they’ll also be encouraging the team to get behind the company.
Getting your employees to believe in the company is no easy feat. It takes time, effort and clear communication. But, when you start to see how passionate your team are about what the business is doing and where it’s going, you’ll wonder how you ever functioned without it. Rewarding staff for showing these behaviours is a clear first step, and something that can apply to everyone in the company, regardless of level.