Ensure that all employees know where they fit in the organisation
In order to have effective and engaged employees, regardless of what your business or organisation does, you should ensure that all employees understand what role they play in contributing to the success of the business and how their role, no matter how insignificant they may feel it is, fits into the bigger picture.
Why is it important?
Everyone wants to feel that what they are doing is worthwhile and that they are making a difference. If employees do not know what they are working towards or what they are working for, then they will quickly lose motivation and feel demorolised.
If an employee knows what they are working towards and how their contribution is helping they will be more likely to work harder and be more engaged in their job role and in turn invested in your business.
How do you do this?
I am of the view that all employees, regardless of what they do for your business, should be aware of what you are aiming to achieve. This could be your top-level targets or goals or some form of output that you can measure and update them on throughout the year.
For example, in my firm we have our annual turnover target and all staff are aware of what this is. Every week we talk about the percentage of success towards target on a monthly basis and then every month I communicate the percentage against target for the year. This way all staff are aware of the progress of the firm, regardless of position, because in my view every person on the team contributes to that success.
At the individual level you should be able to communicate to every single employee what their contribution is to the business goals, and if you cannot then I would question why you have that job role in the business and in turn why you are paying for it!
What I mean by this is that you have taken the decision to employ that person, clearly because you feel that the job is needed in the business, and they must therefore be fulfilling a need that will contribute to the end goals of the business.
Receptionist who sits on a front desk & greets clients and guests:Their contribution is to provide a friendly, welcoming and professional environment for clients and guests. They are often the first impression of the business and their role is therefore imperative in winning and retaining customers. They also help their colleagues who are meeting with the clients as they save them time because they do not have to wait to greet clients.
The receptionist therefore contributes to business generation, retention and productivity of colleagues.
Cleaner who cleans the staff toilets and canteen: Their contribution is to provide a clean and pleasant working environment for colleagues so that they can be more productive and happy. Without them others would not be able to do their job. They are essential to the success of your business and productivity by the contribution they provide for colleagues.
A great example of this can be found at Solent University where the Vice Chancellor’s Group (the most senior managers in the University) met with the cleaning staff for a breakfast event. Despite the cleaning staff being employed by a third party contractor the University still recognise the loyalty and importance of these staff. The purpose of the breakfast was to engage with the staff and to ensure that they were aware of the significant contribution they make to the University and contribution to the students experience and success of the organisation.
If you really think about it, you can communicate to every employee in your business what their contribution is to the overall success of the business.
The best employers and managers remember that everyone’s contribution to the business is equal but they just choose to do different jobs.
This article was written by Alison Colley, Solicitor and Director at Real Employment Law Advice.
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