On the last post we talked about the importance of keeping employees engaged in corporations, but we all know this is not an easy task. Several factors, both internal and external, contribute to the lack of employee engagement of a company’s employees.
Of course, there are personal external factors involving the employees that the leadership cannot control. But internally, in the context of companies, there are numerous tools, techniques and behavioral factors that can be taken into account when rethinking the employees’ experience at work.
Communication, the magic word
Communication is an important factor in all human relationships. It can create or solve problems. Therefore, not giving proper attention to it in the relationship with employees affects a number of factors, as we discussed in the last post.
Some questions can help you identify if your business has communication problems with your employees:
Are your strategic objectives clear?
Clarity and objectivity are powerful tools in human relationships. Remember: you are not working with robots. Therefore, it is important to communicate where the company is heading and set goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Temporal) since your employees will be the ones helping you achieve them.
Do you give constant feedback?
Praise and criticism aim to improve performance; The mentality is not that of a “witch hunt”, but rather that of recognizing good results and drawing lessons from mistakes. For efficient communication to happen, there must be dialogue, not a monologue. So, it is necessary to keep the channel open.
Do your teams interact with each other?
Although teams work for the same company, it is very common for some to not know what others are doing. In practice, this hampers the collaborative process so critical in idea generation, for the improvement of processes and for the development of new products and services. Keeping the teams informed helps integrate efforts and stimulate collaboration.
“What can I learn from my employees?”
In order to achieve the best solution to engage your teams, learning more about them from their own standpoint is key, that is, listening to employees and understanding them from their own perspective, considering the context in which they are embedded. This holistic view of the work environment and the relationships that govern it can be acquired in a structured and systematic way.
Yes, there are crucial engagement factors that are common to every work environment. However, each area has its own ecosystem and peculiarities. Thoroughly investigate the characteristics of your teams and find out what motivates them, this shows you are committed to the well-being of teams. In addition, this increases the chances of implementing an effective system of engagement, as well as making the right decisions and thus achieving acceptance by all.
How can Design Thinking help?
Design Thinking, the commonly used methodology for business improvement, can also be used to get to know your team in depth, its context, and find out what really motivates it. It can also be used alongside gaming techniques (or gamification) to make task execution less bureaucratic and tedious.
Since it is centered on the human being, Design Thinking helps in the discovery and analysis of what the stakeholders involved in the processes think and feel. Here’s how some of your tools can be used on behalf of your team.
This is the preliminary field research which helps the team understand the context to be worked on and provides inputs for the definition of the profiles of employees that will be explored in the In-depth Immersion.
It’s a part of the in-depth immersion and it is a method that seeks, in a conversation with the interviewee, to obtain information through questions, cultural evocation cards, among other techniques.
They are meetings in which the actors involved in the project theme (employees, management, and board, for example) share their experiences and carry out activities that contribute to a broader view of the company context.
A day in the life
Members of the project team experience a day in the life of the employee, that is, they spend a period of time acting and interacting in the context of employees. By doing this, it is possible to walk in the employees’ shoes and understand their pains and needs in practice.
Reflections based on real data obtained from Exploratory Research, Generative Session, A Day in the Life and other techniques that can be used, transformed into cards that make it easier to quickly assess and handle this information.
These are just a few of the tools that can be used in the process of understanding who your employees are, what motivates them, and what are the obstacles for their engagement.
The information and insights collected during this process serve as input for the generation of ideas (Ideation) and for the creation of solutions more appropriate to the reality of the teams and their leaders.