The key to sustaining your company’s growth largely depends on employee engagement. What can you do to create a positive and productive work environment?
Most employees are not completely satisfied with their jobs. In fact, one of our favorite pastimes as a nation of 9-to-5-ers is complaining about the drawbacks of our daily duties, terrible bosses, and sub-par company culture. So how do you create a work environment that promotes teamwork and dedication?
I asked 5 top-level executives about their strategies for keeping employees unified and engaged. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Establish Clear Objectives
Rich Daly of Neuralstem stresses the importance of transparency to create a sense of unity. Trusting employees with information about the company gives them a deeper sense of involvement and allows them to see organizational goals on a larger scale. Daly tells us, “At Neuralstem we seek to align our team through transparency so that we can accelerate our programs and advance them to market.” Setting clear objectives and directly communicating those objectives on a company-wide scale creates an overarching team dynamic, unifying otherwise isolated departments in pursuit of a common goal.
2. Recognize a Job Well Done
When employees feel valued, they are more likely to want to work toward the goals and aspirations of the brand. On the other hand, if they feel that their hard work often goes unnoticed, they have no incentive to excel. As Paul Varello of Sterling Construction Company points out, “Employees respond positively when their contributions are recognized and appreciated. Praise publicly (and often) and criticize privately (and seldom).”
3. Promote Strong Leadership
We’ve all heard the popular saying, “the more the merrier,” but when it comes to leaders, Gary Griffiths of iPass advises that “having too many smart executives is a bigger problem than having too few.” Many companies have plenty of talented leaders trying to develop and execute different strategies all at once. But according to Griffiths, “A business can only handle one strategy at a time. Good leaders set specific and easily understood goals. And they don’t veer from them.” A strong company culture begins with unifying the vision of your C-suite and top-level executives.
4. Create a Fun Environment
Work-life balance is important for promoting employee satisfaction, but it also helps to create a low-stress work environment. Jeff Coats of Autobytel says of his team: “Yes, we’re responsible to our employees, our customers, and our investors, and we work our tails off every day…but we also have fun in the process.” A light-hearted atmosphere not only breaks up the monotony of a long workday, but it also allows employees to relax and show more of their creative side — which can actually have big returns for your business.
5. Encourage Collaboration
Each employee has a different set of skills and strengths that add value to your brand. Encouraging collaboration between departments can promote unity while allowing employees to feel like a part of something bigger than their individual role within the company. Ronald Masciantonio of Destination Maternity tells us, “I think it’s really important to get problems in front of the team as a whole and not pigeonhole or allow people to become siloed. When you have bright, hard-working people, regardless of what their area of expertise is, you can leverage their intelligence to solve a problem in many different ways.”
While not every employee is going to embrace each work day with a smile, cultivating a positive environment with strong leadership and clear goals increases engagement in the long run. It makes sense; if you can get everyone excited about your company’s overarching brand values, you can build a team that works together to achieve shared objectives.
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This article originally appeared on Business.com.