Published By: Stephanie Jones
Researched By: David Fralinger
Have a nagging suspicion your employees are a bit disillusioned? Disenchanted? Just plain bored? They may be suffering from acute employee disengagement, and they’re not alone.
In fact, recent Gallup polling has identified an estimated 30 percent or less of the US workforce as actively engaged in their work—a dismal reality for employers concerned with innovation and productivity.
The cold hard truth? If your workers are disengaged, your company’s losing money.
Engaged employees feel a passionate connection to their company’s mission and values—a connection that compels them to innovate, problem-solve and think outside the cubicle. Increasing employee engagement is not only desirable, but absolutely necessary to maximize productivity and bolster morale within your company.
So what are some ways you can wrangle your workers away from their Instagram pages and into your office infrastructure? Industry expert, Gina Soleil, sheds some light on specific strategies that promote engagement and foster employee trust.
Expert: Gina Soleil
Soleil believes openness and transparency are vital components for increasing employee engagement. She views transparency as “choosing to convey the truth in it’s entirety, absent of any PR Spin,” and openness as “the willingness to become vulnerable and exercise courage by sharing the truth with the masses—because it’s the right thing to do. In other words, honesty is the best (corporate) policy.
“When done right, key messaging is not only 100% truthful, but gains loyal support from employees because people feel trusted and believe the business has their best interest in mind. If employees have a gut feeling that information is missing, or incorrect information is being communicated, they’ll fill in the blanks. If that happens (and it will), a business then will have to manage misinformation, gossip and employee fear.”
Be honest with your workers. Once lost, employee trust can be difficult to restore, and a persisting lack of trust promotes a culture of discomfort. Infuse your key messages and virtual communications with Soleil’s transparency and openness. Avoid the mutiny. Tell the truth.
Still unclear on how to foster that feeling of solidarity and motivation in your office? Soleil has you covered. She’s crafted a practical check list that can help you create an engaging environment for your employees.
1: Executive sponsorship: A culture of openness and transparency starts at the top. You’re the leader of your office, so don’t neglect to lead by example.
2: Strong communication plan: A strong internal communication plan “becomes the check and balance of truth and integrity,” says Soleil. She recommends designing your intranet as a core vehicle with the intention of “communicating truthful information that impacts employees, the community (local and global), and the earth.”
3: Employee Involvement: Your workers want to feel relevant. Without a sense of inclusion, their motivation dwindles. Soleil recommends creating employee-based intranet communication teams that generate video content, post content, interview employees, etc. “The overall goal,” she says, “is to support employees in their quest to make the intranet ‘their space.'”
In today’s high-speed environment, enduring employee engagement is critical. Harnessing the communicative power of your company’s intranet, and applying Soleil’s strategies for increased openness and transparency with help you engage every member of your team—persuading them to abandon their status updates and rejoin the social community you’ve created.
About Gina Soleil:
Gina Soleil is known for her fresh new approach to business. For nearly two decades, she has been leading teams through transformational change within Fortune 500 and 1000 companies. Today, she is a published author of Fuel Your Business: How to Energize People, Ignite Action and Drive Profits, blogs for Huffington Post, and is a speaker, coach, energy practitioner, artist and business owner. Her expertise is creating a workplace where people are energized, feel good and are happy—and demonstrating how to create a work life they’ll love. Soleil lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit GINASOLEIL.COM and follow her on twitter @GinaSoleilWorld.