“There are many ways to reward employees for a job well done, going beyond, or for a creative idea…my favourite example of building a culture that values employees is a short survey asking the team how they would like to be rewarded.”
When creating a business, there is a great deal of thought put into what the company will be and do, the types of clients it will serve, and ways it will be marketed. One of the major factors that most businesses unconsciously omit is the experience created for the employees. No matter what kind of company you are creating or already have established, the employees are key in its success – so build a culture that values employees.
In order to create a culture that values, rewards, and engages employees, you have to be willing to draw inspiration from and include all employees, regardless of hierarchical position, in conversations. Furthermore, you want to foster a creative and engaging work environment and one that rewards employee efforts.
For example, there is a 130-year-old organisation that for the first time included members from its 32 programs in the creation of the goals and targets of the strategic plan with the senior leadership team. This created full engagement of all the programs, as they were part of the creative process. Today, they have 32 additional people to ensure the goals are rolled out effectively and teams stay on target in meeting the tasks.
In addition to the leadership team, you have a wealth of knowledge, information, awareness and ideas that are available when you include the staff and their first line managers who are directly interacting with your clients. They are aware of what is working and not working and they are usually some of the most creative people.
As a business coach with Joy of Business, some of my favourite questions to ask during these meetings are:
- What is working and what requires change?
- What do you know that could improve the client experience?
- What other revenue sources can we add?
- Who or what can we add to the business, program, project, or team today to provide more functionality in our products and services?
These questions can yield awareness of people, better processes, technology, creative ideas or additional revenue sources.
Although it is easy to get wrapped up in what may not be working, most employees enjoy improving current products and services. A way to engage the employee is to provide an environment to collaborate with other talented people and start creating out of the box, allow them to focus on what they actually enjoy, and offer some direction without micromanagement.
There are many ways to reward employees for a job well done, going beyond, or for a creative idea. A personal thank you, a certificate, acknowledging them in an email or a newsletter, monetarily, or even small gestures. My favorite is a short survey asking the employees how they would like to be rewarded.
When I was vacationing, a ziplining guide shared with me a story of her HR Director coming to the top of the mountain with frozen popsicles when it was 35○ C/ 95○ F. The guide even said, “Each popsicle was maybe $0.70 but it meant so much to us to know someone was thinking of us and cared that we were working in really hot conditions.”
After the initial negotiations of salary, it is not usually the money that creates engaged employees but being valued for their knowledge, accomplishments and their input towards the betterment of the organisation and client experience.
Laleh Alemzadeh-Hancock, Management Consultant & Founder and CEO, Belapemo and Global Wellness For All