As an employer, your employee’s growth and development should be important to you. After all, the success of your employees has a direct impact on the success or failure of your business.
And yet, according to a study conducted by Gallup, 70 percent of employees say they are not working to their full potential on the job. Some of these people even confessed to sleepwalking through their day.
That’s an eye-opening figure! The good news is you can use the art and practice of good communications to inspire your employees to wake up. Providing helpful tips and tools through communications will motivate your employees to succeed. Here are a few ways to do it.
Learn How You Can Best Support Your Employees
One of the first steps in using communications to help employees reach their potential is finding out what they need in order to do their very best. Ask questions that will provide useful insight into how, as an employer, you can motivate them. Conduct focus groups and ask them about their ideal schedule, preferred form of communication, and biggest challenges. Then, use what you learn to make improvements that empower them to do better. This helps them work more effectively while showing them that their feedback matters.
Promote Growth in the Company
Let employees know that if they do well, there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And it’s not just about money, but also rewards that are meaningful for them. Providing employees with a chance to grow in the company is an advantage for both you and them. By giving them this opportunity to develop on the job, you may notice increased productivity and a happier employee.
Partner with your Human Resources teams to align messaging around organizational policies. Determine what growth actually means for your employees and highlight it in a way that resonates. One tactic you can try is to promote new job postings internally before opening them up to the public. Or, allow employees to explore different roles within the company to show them the opportunities first hand. Having a broader understanding of the organization also helps them to develop as an employee. Conduct bi-weekly information sessions that highlight a different department each session. If you have a formalized mentorship program, feature that in company publications. With good communications about growth, you can inspire your employees to learn, prosper, and work to their full potential.
Educate Your Leaders
Leaders play a very important role in the productivity of your employees. Your leaders are the ones who interact with your employees on a daily basis. Because of this close relationship, it is vital that your leaders have the tools to guide, inspire and motivate their teams. Make sure your leaders have the information and knowledge they need to answer questions their team members may have. Offer additional communications and training to your leaders so that they can better support their teams. Individual members inch closer to their full potential with determined and considerate leaders.
Inspire Successful Teamwork
Teamwork makes the dream work! Encourage your employees to take advantage of teamwork to learn from one another. Working in teams exposes your employees to different people and ideas. These new perspectives can inspire them to learn, grow, and become motivated to work to their full potential. By communicating the power of teamwork, you help your employees build relationships with their colleagues while motivating them to succeed in their own position.
Show Your Employees That You Care
Positive affirmation is a great way to encourage employees to work to their full potential. Everybody likes to feel appreciated and recognized, including your employees. Find different ways to communicate how much you cherish them. These types of rewards will motivate your employees to do better. They also provide insight on how each individual is performing, and if there is room for improvement. This type of recognition makes your employees feel happy and excited for their professional future. Positive affirmation could be something as simple as thanking them for their hard work on a complicated project, to something more elaborate like an employee appreciation party.
Remember, it’s important to consider the impact your employees have – and can have – on your business and to support them accordingly.
Did you know that offering employees the opportunity to bring their pets to work is a current trend? It’s true! According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), nine percent of employers already have an office policy allowing pets. This includes some well-recognized employers-of-choice such as Google, Amazon, Salesforce and Workday.
The fact is that the percentage of workplaces with a pet-friendly policy has more than doubled in the past four years. Benefits experts believe that this percentage will continue to increase in the future.
Why you may ask? According to a business magazine called Chief Executive, the next generation of business professionals want it. A survey conducted by Banfield Pet Hospital found that more than 66 percent of human resource decision makers said that potential candidates asked if the workspace was pet-friendly during their interview process.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. A pet-friendly environment can benefit both the employer and the employee. The employer may see increased retention, loyalty, productivity, and morale in their staff. On the other hand, the employee may experience decreased stress and absenteeism, according to a recent study from the Virginia Commonwealth University. As an added bonus, when you allow pets in the office, employees may be more engaged and willing to work a full day. The policy eliminates their need to worry about rushing home to check-in on their pet.
If you already have a program like this or are looking to start one, consider effective communications a key element of its success. Here are some ways to make sure you’re engaging employees appropriately:
Make Sure Every Employee’s Voice is Heard
In order for a pet-friendly workspace to be successful, employees need to feel included. With this in mind, be sure to remember everybody might not have a pet or feel comfortable around animals. That’s why it’s important to find out where people are. Do this by talking to coworkers who might be worried about this implementation, are allergic, or have any questions or concerns. Engage them in a short online poll, focus groups or informal meetings to get their thoughts. Use what you learn to inform not only the program, but communications strategy. Arm managers with talking points so they know how to approach people on their teams who may be skeptical.
Design a “Frequently Asked Questions” Document That Lays Out Program Guidelines
One of the most important steps in creating this type of policy is making sure that the guidelines are clear. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are a user-friendly tool for distributing information in a way that can be scanned, easy to revisit, and quickly updated as questions come your way. Start with the questions you expect you’ll get the most. Write them in the way employees would ask them to make the information intuitive for search. Update often to aid in eliminating any confusion.
Get the Word Out Through the Appropriate Media
How you decide to spread the word to your employees is crucial. Are you going to send out a mass email? Post a flyer in the break room? Hold a company-wide meeting? Post it on your company’s intranet? There are many different ways to tell your employees about this new policy, but some may be more fitting for your company than others. The goal is to meet employees where you know they go most. This ensures that you are reaching as many people as possible. Even though younger workers tend to value this pet-friendly program most, not all want to receive information on line. Because we all learn differently, the best approach is to use a mix of approaches, from online to traditional. This guarantees that you connect with everybody somewhere.
Create Clear Messaging That Includes the Ground Rules
No matter how you decide to share information, remember that consistency is key. Reiterate the ground rules and key aspects of the policy often and through a variety of media so employees always know what to expect. If your message is direct, concise, and clear, employees are more likely to be receptive. Something to keep in mind is that when you begin to tire of the information, employees are just starting to get it.
Communicating the Pet-Friendly Policy in Recruitment
Your current workers aren’t the only ones who should know about this new policy. Promote it to job-searching millennials who, as we now know, are looking for pet-friendly offices. Talk to your Human Resources team to see how you can best communicate this policy in the recruitment process. That may include adding it to job postings on sites like Indeed or Glassdoor, putting it in the employee handbook and promoting it at job fairs. This could be a real deal maker for some candidates and in a tight job market, that counts!
As you can see, there are a lot of things to think about when educating your employees on how to embrace a pet-friendly office. Note that your communications strategy is crucial when explaining any new policy. Communicate well so you can set employees and your program up for real success.