Monday, August 15, 2011

Workplace Loyalty & Motivation

It’s a simple equation. Employees who care about their work and their workplace are more likely to perform better. That’s why we take our “Employee Satisfaction” surveys seriously. Each year, every division of Design Group Staffing Inc. conducts a comprehensive employee satisfaction survey. We ask confidential opinion questions about supervisors, teams, divisions, executives, training, business processes, tools and technology. We set goals for employee satisfaction within our business plans. Expectations are defined within each manager’s performance appraisal and the actual results are factored into our management compensation and bonus plans. Here are six important lessons we have learned.

1. Keep Employees Happy & Keep Employees
It may seem like a daunting task but managing for employee satisfaction doesn’t have to be so elusive. At our company, a rookie employee typically becomes a net contributor within his/her second year on the job and then productivity continues to grow almost indefinitely. We know from experience that high employee satisfaction is the most significant factor affecting employee retention and that translates into higher per desk performance. Improve satisfaction, reduce turn-over and the results are profound.

2. Encourage Curiosity & Engagement
Technical skills and experience are an important part of any position. Often, the employees with the highest level of technical competency and experience have great ideas on how to improve but they don’t mention anything because they are stifled by a corporate culture of reluctance to change. We have the power to create an environment where employees feel comfortable, even excited, to learn more and offer new ideas. Foster a culture where questions and suggestions are encouraged and employees will feel like an important part of the “big picture”. Engaged employees translate into increased productivity.

3. Forgive Mistakes
Perhaps even you have made one or two (or three or four…) mistakes in your day. We all have, and so will our best employees. But they shouldn’t be afraid to make an occasional mistake. Accept mistakes as a learning opportunity. Encourage employees to try new things and, yes, make mistakes – so that they can learn from them. When employees aren’t afraid of being scolded by the boss for making a mistake, they’re more likely to embrace the mistake and truly learn.

4. Have Their Backs
Ever hear of the phrase “The customer is always right?” It’s an interesting catch phrase however, from time to time, your organization may have a customer that…well…isn’t. When an employee has followed procedure and tried their best, it’s important to “have his or her back” when dealing with an aggressive or dissatisfied customer. The same goes for when an employee who needs assistance with something like a faulty computer, or a tricky health benefits claim, or is in need of scheduling flexibility. Don’t let your employees take a beating from customers, or silly administrative policies. Show some empathy and support and your satisfied employee will return your thoughtfulness in spades.

5. Show Respect
This one probably shouldn’t have to be mentioned – it should be automatically ingrained in every organizational culture. It is simply the right thing to do, and it can also have a profound impact on employee morale. Act like a professional, and show professional and personal respect to your team.

6. Give Recognition
Taking a few minutes to call attention to something your team did, or to show your personal interest in your employees can make the world of a difference in how people feel about their work and their employer. Show recognition for special days, anniversaries and achievements. People don’t quit companies, they usually quit their supervisor. A small amount of interest can make a big impact.

At The People Bank, we complete our annual Employee Satisfaction Survey to ensure we’re doing things right with our team. Employee satisfaction leads to increased results for you. If you are interested in learning more about our survey or how we ensure our best-of-class employees feel like superstars, contact our team. We’d be happy to talk to you.

Steve Jones Blog can also be found on The People Bank website at