Are your employees scared to take on more responsibility? Do they not trust themselves enough? It’s time you change your company culture to engage them and make them better.
An agency was on the brink of declaring bankruptcy after years of sales declines. Besides not being able to boost sales in any way, they faced negative cash flow and very low morale.
The only apparent solution? To increase prices.
When that didn’t solve anything and only made things worse, we stepped in to offer financial leadership. And our strategic approach brought the agency back to cash flow positive, for starters.
The blueprint to success included a time study and process improvement. We also did debt restructuring and helped the agency do better on budgeting. Last but not least, we emphasized team engagement and partnerships.
This guidance led the company to an 846% increase in sales and a 36% increase in gross profit margin.
It’s a real success story - one that you can experience for yourself if you have good team engagement.
This article will guide you on creating the right culture. But first, you must understand why some employees disengage instead of taking action and what you can do about it.
The Dangers of Fear
One of our clients had first-hand experience with disengagement. After receiving a significant opportunity, the team feared that it wouldn’t be up to the task.
Their client asked them to target a subset of their ideal audience. Even if they were already working within the same demographics and niche, the team still feared that the individuals involved in the project didn’t have what’s needed to deal with specific nuances.
No one on the executive team dared to engage in the project. The agency owner didn’t like the situation he was in. However, he also lacked the proper skills to motivate the team.
Luckily they turned to expert guidance and got past this moment.
But the point here is this – fear is one of the most common reasons for disengagement. It’s what prevents many people from pulling the trigger and taking action. Ultimately, it’s how many businesses miss out on opportunities and fail to engage enough clients.
It’s also a problem that doesn’t have to come from the top. And this is because it’s the people within the executive team that fall prey to fear and turn down projects.
While some situations warrant a cautious approach, others don’t.
It’s possible to disengage without reason. That’s why boosting team engagement is one of your biggest tools to motivate teams and achieve success.
How to Create a Culture of Support and Engagement
Tip#1 – Show Appreciation
Some studies have shown that over 20% of workers that lack recognition may start looking for other jobs. It’s also known that employees that don’t feel validated may not pull their weight. And it’s also possible that undervalued employees end up not trusting their own skills.
Showing appreciation doesn’t have to cost you anything. Giving props to your team members during meetings is one of the simplest ways to show your appreciation. Offering constructive feedback and inspiring people is also free.
You can also share and celebrate successes with everyone. And when your situation allows it, you may also want to consider setting up a rewards system.
People tend to work harder for rewards. With it, they can become more innovative and develop their positive attributes.
Tip #2 – Focus on Trust
A culture of support relies on trust and transparency. To motivate your employees, you have to show more than simple appreciation - show them that you trust them.
Trusting the leadership is key.
That said, it’s also vital that your people trust each other. They can’t collaborate adequately if there’s no trust between them.
It’s a good idea to create an internal code of ethics to teach your employees how to operate with integrity. Don’t think that this only applies to lower management - it should start from the ownership level.
Keep in mind that your employees look forward to learning your company’s core values right away. In doing so, they always look at the leadership level to see how you make decisions. They want to know if you reflect the core values as well.
So, make sure your behavior and decision-making mirror what you preach. It helps establish trust with your team faster.
Tip #3 – Foster Open Communication
We already mentioned that it’s critical to have trust in your company. But you may think it’s easier said than done.
The truth is that transparency and open employee communication help you get there sooner.
So, encourage your people to engage in conversation even outside of work. Allow them to share their success and failure stories. Let them learn from one another so that they can trust each other.
Open communication and transparency also help build brand loyalty as it makes employees feel valued. Before you know it, your team may feel prouder of its work.
Tip #4 – Be Clear on Your Expectations
Don’t just expect your employees to know what you want from them. It’s up to you to provide clear goals so people know exactly what they have to do.
If you supply the training and the tools, you can expect them to be able to do their job easier. They also won’t feel the need to question you or ask for guidance all the time.
Everyone ends up wasting less time and can instead focus on what matters – getting results.
Great Companies Depend on Having Engaged and Loyal Employees
Fear is a powerful trigger for disengagement, whether it’s at the leadership level or down. Overcome that fear by using the proper means to motivate everyone to help the company.
You do a lot as a business owner to grow your company. But the bulk of the work comes from your employees. If they don’t perform well, it reflects in your profits and even in your own confidence as a leader.
So, always work on your company culture. Foster a winning culture that values employees and encourages them to get better.
Work on opening the lines of communication and advocate for transparency. Build trust between all levels of management and make any small success a companywide success story. Get everyone involved and work on expressing your expectations with clarity.
If you’re not sure where to start, why not pull the trigger and ask for help? You don’t have to do it all on your own as we’ve helped similar businesses to do this. Schedule a Profitability Accelerator Call with us today to get started.