I recently stumbled upon an article on the Huffington Post Business blog entitled (Almost) Everything We Think about Employee Engagement is Wrong. Dov Seidman at LRN argues that making meaningful connections with employees and having strong company values and a purpose-driven mission lead to more engagement, and ultimately, better business results.
It’s not enough to simply have lunches or holding one-on-one meetings with supervisees. Monetary bonuses are like sugar rushes that quickly wear off. Cultivating connections between coworkers establishes trust. The entire culture needs to hum with a purpose that inspires employees.
Ruby’s mission fits nicely into this model; we aim to preserve meaningful connections in an increasingly technology-focused, virtual world. However, even if your company’s purpose seems different (Nike’s, for example, is to bring inspiration and innovation to athletes), your business and employees can still benefit.
Hiring employees who jive with your mission (even if you need to invest in a bit of training) will set them up for success and make it easier for you to create connections. Recognize employees for their accomplishments, not just with bonuses, but send an email or drop by to personally congratulate them on a job well done. In your lunches and one-on-ones, set aside some time for small talk; my boss and I have our weekly check-ins first thing Monday morning and get to chat about what exciting things we did that weekend. Identifying your company’s mission and fostering personal connections adds up to employees who work harder, are more productive, and more invested in the success of your business.