1. Keep employees engaged
Believe it or not, audience engagement isn’t everything. Success begins with an engaged employee base, and all good things follow thereafter. That’s why it’s such a shock that last year’s Oxford Economics study at SAP revealed that only 13% of employees actually consider themselves to be engaged.
What does an engaged employee look like, by the way? Someone who’s always striving to do better, who wants to improve his or her organization, and who can sincerely recommend his or her workplace to others.
2. Let them know their value
People need to know how they fit into the bigger picture to be as motivated and productive as possible. Nathan Sloan, a principal at Deloitte’s Consulting Human Capital practice, asks: “Are we doing a good job articulating to our teams what we expect them to do on a daily basis?” What it boils down to is encouraging high performance across the board and pushing people to be leaders – of themselves and others.
3. Be flexible
Focus on quality rather than quantity, and trust your employees to deliver in whatever ways work best for them. Some may function best in a traditional office setting, while others – Millennials especially – might be more productive at home or somewhere else entirely, like a coffee shop or library. As long as the work is getting done, and getting done well, should it really matter that much where it happens? Eric Lesser, research director and North American leader for the IBM Institute for Business Value, reminds us to “focus on outputs rather than perception.”
4. Keep morale high
Be sure you’re delivering the kind of constructive feedback that enables your employees to keep improving. This has long been a challenge for management and higher-ups, but it’s crucial to reward your people for a job well done – even with something as simple as expressing gratitude and recognition. Kerry Brown, VP of user adoption at SAP, says research has shown that “millennials and high performers would like feedback as often as monthly in some form or fashion.” Do what you can to follow through, and last but not least:
5. Don’t forget to listen
Your employees are out there on the front lines everyday, working hard and face-to-face with your mission, customers, and product or service. “They have ideas, they have suggestions, [and] they have opportunities for improvement,” says Lesser. “Complexity isn’t going to go away anytime in the near future,” but when it comes to working better and pushing our teams to do the same, more often than not, the answer is simple.
Click here to check out the full episode of this Transforming Your Business installment of Coffee Break with Game-Changers, which asks: Are Your Metrics and Incentives Rewarding Complexity or Simplification?