We have talked it the past weeks about how to understand what your company culture is, how to create the change to what you would like it to be, how to incorporate your Purpose Statement and Guiding Principles and how to align your Performance Management system and goals with the culture in order to get the best results.
Especially at this time of year, it is important to remember that creating a great culture, one in which employees will feel inspired to do great things and will give their all, all of the time, comes down to creating an environment of caring. All of the words and posters, e-mails, employee newsletters and team building sessions don’t really move you to your end goal unless you truly care about each of your employees as human beings and actively show and encourage that on a daily basis.
Over and over again, studies have shown that employee engagement is a better predictor of both productively and turnover than employee satisfaction is. When employees feel cared for and valued, employee’s engage. They engage with each other, they engage in their work and they engage with management. Engaged employees take less sick days, are far more productive, do not file litigation and are generally happier.
Truly caring is not about handing out big bonuses and merit increases or about officially recognizing someone for the best sales performance. Truly caring starts at a much more basic level. Truly caring is asking for someone’s opinion and then taking the time to really listen and understand what they have to say. It means following up with an employee who mentioned they were going house hunting or has a parent ill in the hospital. It means promptly and courteously responding to each and every request as if it were the most important one. We all get 100’s of emails each day and it can be tempting to just ignore the never ending onslaught, but take the time to respond if only to say “I am swamped, but can get back to you over the weekend” It means setting and meeting or beating expectations. There is nothing worse than committing to deliver something to an employee and then letting it just fall through the cracks. If you are not truly committed, you are better off, not setting the expectations. People need to know you care about them as individuals and once that connection has been established you will be amazed how willing they will be to go above and beyond in all aspects of their jobs.
So, as we enter this holiday season, take some time to show those around you that you truly care. They say if you practice a new skill for 30 days, it becomes a habit. What an amazing 2017 we would create if caring became a habit.