Everyone has worked with somebody who spends most of their day taking any opportunity to complain about their job – the kind of person who acts like they just got dealt a life sentence every Monday morning and leaves every Friday afternoon as if they were headed to Hawaii. Remember that sour taste left in your mouth the last time you interacted with someone who looked like they’d rather do anything other than work? Nobody wants that kind of apathy poisoning the work environment. Unfortunately, as this type of chronically labor-averse co-worker demonstrates, a paycheck is not always enough to create enthusiasm.
Here are a five ways to ensure that your employees care as much about your company as you do.
1. Be Accessible
Consider taking the time to have one-on-one meetings with your employees outside of performance reviews. Try making it a casual event, like a coffee meeting, and encourage them to talk about what they want out of their job. If you learn about their goals, you may find a few obstacles in their way that you have the power to remove. Facilitating the realization of a goal can create a strong relationship.
These meetings are also valuable because they help deconstruct a rigid hierarchy that many employees may resent or find intimidating. A flatter organization can help create a culture where people work hard, not because they are following orders, but because they feel they have just as much of a stake in the company as anyone else.
2. Offer Opportunities
Opportunities can range from giving an employee a heads-up when a higher position is available, to offering group discounts to Delaware casinos and other mini staycations. Alerting them to these types of career boosters and getaways will do a couple things.
First, it will them know that you care enough about them to offer an understanding hand. Offering something like a meeting with a superior lets them know that you are looking out for them. It also helps them avoid the feeling that they are stuck in their role with no room for advancement or personal fulfillment. Work becomes a much more exciting place for your employees when their ambition hasn’t been stifled.
3. Herald Accomplishments
This one works on an individual and organizational level. First of all, let your employees know when you see that they have done something of value. A simple “thank you,” can really make it clear that you’re aware of their work and you appreciate what they’re doing for the company. Also be sure not to limit your praise to private meetings. Public thanks can make someone feel even more appreciated.
More broadly, fill everyone in on the company’s success. Keeping your employees abreast of the company’s progress can help make everyone feel as though they are a part of something worthwhile. No one likes to feel that they are putting in hours for no greater purpose.
4. Trust Your Employees
The rest of the items on this list are great ways to be pro-active about making your employees care about their job, but sometimes being hands-off can be just as effective. Letting your workers do their jobs without always looking over their shoulder will make them feel more autonomous and will show how much you respect them. Trusting your employees may even be a more powerful compliment than saying “thank you,” because of how much it shows you appreciate their capabilities.
5. Recognize the Person in the Worker
No one likes to be treated like a cog in a machine. Every employee has a life away from work, and connecting with them on a personal level can go a long way toward making the workplace more comfortable for everyone. You don’t have to be best friends with everybody, but simple questions about their family or weekend plans shows that you care about them beyond their job function.
Remembering your employees are human also means remembering that all humans fail from time to time. Try to create a work environment where failure is not the end of the world. If employees aren’t petrified of making a mistake, they will be less stressed and may be more willing to try new things, which can lead to great innovations for the company.