Here’s a little secret – even in industries that are very consumer-facing, such as retail, while customers are important, they are not your greatest asset. Some come and some go. No matter what line of work you’re in, it’s your employees that matter most. Engaged, productive people are the key to any successful business. Chances are, if you’re struggling, it’s because of your talent (or lack thereof).
So if employee retention and productivity at your place of business start to dwindle, beware. Your company may well be in trouble – unless your able to step in and do something about it.
According to Entrepreneur magazine, intervening in matters of employee engagement is essential. Sam Bahreini, founder and COO of VoloForce, told the news source that generally in business, problems don’t originate with your customers. They happen because your employees aren’t able to deliver your patrons the right customer experience. If your talent starts slipping, the loss of business will follow.
An engaged workforce is key. Take retail, for instance. If your store’s staff members are passionate about their work, they’ll be cheerful and eager to help customers by sharing their expertise. If they’re lacking that passion, then the potential for great customer service goes out the window.
Bahreini, who works to automate and simplify retail processes, told Entrepreneur that talent engagement has proven again and again to be the key goal.
“When we began frequently using our product, we stumbled upon things that didn’t completely satisfy us – as customers or brand representatives,” Bahreini said. “Companies generate twice the amount of revenue when they have engaged employees who are on the same page. And if everybody is a product expert, you don’t have to worry when your designated product guy has the day off.”
If you’re not focusing on employee engagement already, you absolutely should be. The following are five ideas for how to drive increased engagement at your organization.
Communicate goals clearly
Often, people have trouble flourishing in their jobs because they’re unclear on what the organization’s goals are. Make sure everyone is on the same page about what they’re trying to accomplish, both individually and collectively.
Offer feedback regularly
Employees can sometimes struggle if they feel like they’re working in a vacuum, without anyone around to offer input on what they’re doing right and wrong. Offering people regular feedback is a good way to keep their engagement up.
Encourage active dialogue
Great managers don’t just tell people what to do – they listen, too. The best organizations have regular, two-sided dialogues between employees and managers about what’s going well and where there’s still room for improvement.
Celebrate organizational progress
Did your company land a big client? Hit a key milestone you’ve been aiming for? When good things happen at your place of business, be sure to acknowledge and celebrate them. Praise everyone who played a part in the success, no matter how small.
Give people the tools they need
Finally, consider giving your employees more workplace perks that will help make them happier and healthier. For example, using an employee assistance program to address any physical or mental health issues is a great way to show your staff members how much you care.