What does Employee Engagement has to do with Organization’s Reputation
Talk about the most used business catchphrases and one that wins the war indisputably is ‘Employee Engagement’. Yes, every organization shouts the slogan of ‘Engage Or Die’. I am afraid, it makes sense. It’s true that organizations can survive only if they have a good reputation, which in turn depends on two things-
One. The kind of work that you do.
Two. Word of mouth from the people who work for you.
Now, if you have the right talent pool, you can always craft wonderful products and achieve challenging milestones.
Acknowledgment from the employees, on the other hand, does not come easy. Not every employee will be aligned to your organization’s goals, not every team member will have a vision as clear as yours, not every individual will be willing to go an extra mile for the work that your organization does.
You would think that a handsome salary can result in happy employees which in turn can get you good reputation. Partly true; but when it comes to work, research says that people like to work in organizations where the work is interesting, even if they are paid little less than the usual.
So what counts in ‘good’ Reputation?
Well, a business without reputation is like a man without a character. Good reputation will leave you compliments everywhere. And in bad times- it will be like a shadow. Bad reputation, however, is like a parasite. It will stick to you, suck your blood and leave you dry. Without any money, without any hope.
“A brand is what a business does. Reputation is what people remember.” -Ted Rubin
Having a good reputation is indispensable. It takes efforts to build it and then maintain it. And having a good reputation with your clients is just not enough.
Agree, with the fierce competition that exists in the market these days, a good reputation with client means more people flocking to your door. But with the dearth of skilled talent, your employees count as valuable assets.
They are the ones who speak for you. Everyone in the organization- from the CEO to the receptionist; from the finance manager to your clients; stand as your reputation builder (or destroyers). A good reputation is at stake and if you do not take right steps- it can be easily put to ashes by an unhappy client or even discontented cleaner.
So where does Employee engagement fit? It’s a big word, no? Why is everyone talking and tweeting about it? Why are companies doing every bit on their part to engage their employees? And what on earth does it have to do with your organization’s ‘reputation’?
The internet is flooded with ‘best practices’. And if everyone is reading and writing about it, there ought to be some followers. Then, why are we not improving?
Employee engagement, in simple words, is giving the employees right kind of environment where they can complete their tasks and grow their potential in the best possible way. An effective employee engagement is a year-round effort to act swiftly on concerns and suggestions instead of a once a year affair for filling long survey forms.
Any people-first organization will take consistent efforts to check if their employees are doing the kind of work they find challenging and interesting. Use of right employee engagement tools like FeedbackSocially facilitate SMART goal setting, peer reviews, employee progress conversations and peer recognition. They create an atmosphere where every voice is heard and every concern is resolved.
If you are a new organization or you are looking to build a good reputation, here are some ways in which you can do that-
Build trust through actions
Keeping promises will help build your credibility. Keeping your word no matter what, this will create a sense of respect, a sense of security in your employees. Stay transparent in all your communications and stay responsive.
Just like you would inform your clients about work in progress, make sure you let your team mates know about the progress of the promises so that the loop is closed and they know that their suggestions are counted.
Accept mistakes and take corrective actions
Learn to accept mistakes fast so that they don’t strike you again. Learn to fail fast to succeed faster.
A delayed project deadline can often lead to a heated argument. Some team members may feel they did their part, some may feel they have no role to play here. But mind you, a good leader never plays the blame-game.
Keep your communication channels open
Without this, how do you imagine the engagement happens? If the communication system is flawed, if people can not reach out to you for any concerns, then they are bound to feel disengaged.
You can start by initiating an open door policy where any one can walk-in to raise their concerns or give suggestions. Holding anonymous surveys also helps in getting most honest answers from employees. When people know that their name will not appear, they may answer honestly.
Effective communication helps in strengthening the bond between employer and employee. So ensure that the level of communication to your employees is the same as your communication to clients and other stakeholders.
Hire right people to lead
We’ve heard this phrase before but it’s worth quoting one more time- “People don’t leave organizations, they leave their bosses.”
Hire great leaders, who know how to inspire, retain, and who can go beyond their leadership roles and be a good mentor. Make sure that as a leader, your teammates feel a positive energy the second they walk through your front door. They feel valued, they feel inspired to work, they want to contribute more to organization.
People commit to their jobs wholeheartedly, when they connect to their leader. Their commitment to the organization is a result of a good relationship with their boss. Take out time to hold leadership meetings and pass on your vision of a ‘great place to work’ to them.
Good managers will always help you in retaining the top talent in your organization.
As I said, there are a lot many ways to build reputation through effective employee engagement. But we believe, the above listed points can help you start in the right direction.