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Engaged employees do better business - part 2

02 August 2017

I wrote an article last week on a topic that I am very passionate about. In a world where we are facing tough economic times, companies are looking for ways in which to optimise performances in order to improve production which ultimately leads to increased profits.

The key ingredient in this is your employees. While your products and services are the end result of a vision that you hope to create on a daily basis, employees are the heart and soul of your business. The harsh reality is that without your employees, your business is merely four walls with an empty shell. 

Engaged employees do better business. We spoke in the past about the psychology behind this; we now need to focus on the physical steps needed to enable employee buy-in to your vision. 

Creating culture 

To you, your business is more than the four walls that hold the operational side; it is even more than the product and services that you present/provide to your clients. To you, your company is something that you are passionate about. It is a small part of you that you are working hard to recreate and give to the world. If we want our employees to be engaged, we have to get them to feel the same passion. This can only be done through the creation of an effective corporate culture. 

There is no blueprint on how to create an enabling culture within your company as every company is different. However, there are benefits of creating a company culture that nobody can ignore. These were presented in an article by Forbes.com: 

 - Identity. For starters, culture enables you to identify the values of your company. For example, if your corporate culture is one that prioritizes setting and meeting goals, your individual workers will be more likely to set and meet goals of their own. It’s a good way to set and maintain the direction of your employees, and without it, it’s hard to keep your company’s values coherent;

- Retention. A strong company culture attracts better talent; and, more importantly, retains that talent. When people feel like they belong to an organization, they’re more likely to stick around for the long term. That means lower turnover, fewer new hires to deal with, and better chemistry among your team; and

- Image. Corporate culture also adds to your brand identity. If you treat your employees well and have a fun loving corporate atmosphere (while still focusing on making a profit), your customers will see you as a fun loving, generous brand. Depending on your target demographics, that could be a major enabler for sales and customer loyalty. 

Talked about aspects 

The article goes onto add that one of the biggest motivating factors is the fact that corporate culture is becoming a more popular consideration and development. 

The article adds that more companies are shifting their attention to creating more thorough brand cultures and preserving them through ongoing development. Why? It’s at least partially due to the fact that culture is talked about more frequently. Studies have indicated measurable increases in turnover for companies with poor or non-existent culture, and conversationally, culture is mentioned more frequently between entrepreneurs. 

This makes sense when we look at some of the biggest companies in the world. Coca-Cola and McDonalds don’t directly market their products through their slogans. Enjoy every moment and I’m lovin ittalk about creating a memory more than anything else. 

People buy things for different reasons. Sure there will be people who buy Coke or a Big Mac because they enjoy the product, but many more will purchase them because of a memory that they had of their childhood going to McDonalds with their parents, or sharing a Coke with a loved individual. 

Employees need to see your passion. Perhaps you are franchise owner and want to make technology easy for people because your parents struggled with it. Or you own a franchise in a string of restaurants and want to make the company a success because you want children to have the same happy memory you did. Whatever your motivation is, be passionate about it because if your passion is palpable, your staff will also become passionate. 

Trust and Transparency 

This is one of the cornerstones of company culture. If you do not trust your employees, they will not trust you. And if there is no trust in the relationship, why are you in business? 

An article on the aptly named website bossmagazine.com points out that employees need a strong culture of shared values, ensuring that each of them instinctively knows the right thing to do and does not need rules, policies, and procedures to dictate their actions. 

Collaborate on values development 

The article adds that collaboration creates relevance. 

Rather than just handing out a mission statement, involve your employees as you define your core values. Working collectively to establish these principles guarantees much greater alignment and harmony throughout your organization.

However, be aware. This is your company at the end of the day and needs to have a piece of you in it. Give it your personal touch, something that says: this is mein everything that the company does. 

Hire for Fit 

According  to the article, the final key to a strong company culture is your hiring process. While technical skills are valuable, hiring based on these alone can be a costly mistake. 

To maintain and enhance your culture, you must ensure any employees you take on are a good fit for your organization. To do this, ensure your recruitment materials reflect your culture. 

Include values-based questions in interviews; hold multiple interviews with different stakeholders to get different perspectives; provide a business challenge and ask how the candidate would approach solving it. 

At the end of the day though. Creating a corporate culture begins with you. You need to be the change that you wish to see in the world. Through strong leadership, people follow. This means that at times, hard decisions need to be made. However, you company will be better for it. 

A simple question needs to be asked when building corporate culture. As yourself if you would sell the products or services that you offer to your mother. If you would, how would you sell it? Take that approach and use it as a blueprint on how your employees need to conduct themselves while out in the field. After that, trust them and believe that they have your best interests at heart. This will engage employees into your brand and encourage them to do better business.

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