The start of a new calendar year often aligns with the beginning of an organization’s fiscal year, a time when senior leadership teams should review their organization’s mission, vision and values. This is a prudent activity to ensure the mission, vision and values are commonly shared and supported and that your business activities and decisions are focused appropriately. (For tips on creating compelling mission, vision, and values statements see these helpful posts: Vision and Mission – What’s the difference and why does it matter? and Core Values: Wall Posters or Culture Builders?).

Once planning is complete, you’re well on your way to a successful year, but without employees understanding and appreciating the purpose of the business, what success looks like in their organization and how they are going to get there together, your planning will remain just that – a plan. As a means of encouraging and enhancing employee engagement within the company – a critical component of successful businesses – it is important for senior leaders to clearly communicate their organization’s mission, vision and values to everyone in the organization and encourage dialogue within teams about them.  With this, employees feel more a part of the company and will go the extra mile to help their organization succeed.

Creating an engaged workforce starts from the top. If you’re a leader, follow these four simple steps to better engage and connect with your employees on a regular basis throughout the year:

  1. Articulate a clear vision of success (in your own words):
    Talk with employees about the vision and mission of the company, concrete goals to get there, and the role each of them play in realizing these goals.  Provide as much clarity as possible with respect to roles, responsibilities and performance expectations.
  2. Emphasize the company’s value system:
    Provide descriptions of each value’s importance and of leadership’s degree of commitment to each of them.
  3. Manage by walking around (MBWA):
    Get to know employees better, talk more, listen more and regularly let employees know their contributions are recognized and appreciated.
  4. Develop and reward your best people:
    Identify opportunities to develop, reward and recognize top performers and those with high potential.  Commit to making it a business priority to develop employees to their fullest potential.

Why do you care?  Because research shows that organizations with engaged employees perform better – period.  Engaged employees are more likely to go above and beyond their regular responsibilities and more likely to meet or exceed their objectives.  Research also shows that engagement is a very strong driver of positive customer and business outcomes. So why wait? Get cracking on these 4 steps and next month I’ll share more thoughts on employee engagement plus tips from some of the most engaged workforces.

Happy engaging!

Linda A. Barlow, CHRP
Global HR Thought Leader