Today, the best leaders are doing everything they can to engage with employees. This goes well beyond throwing an annual holiday party. There's team-building activities, group volunteer and fitness events, group cooking classes, you name it.
Because to this generation's average worker, the key to happiness at work goes beyond a paycheck. They want to feel a part of something bigger and make an impact to the company. They want to connect with other departments and people in the office—including the leadership team.
Great leaders don't just manage. They keep employees motivated, engaged and inspired. Here are 5 ways you can use engagement to boost morale.
1. Crowd-source your outing ideas
Instead of making the decision yourself, or enlisting the HR team to plan a company outing, let your team nominate ideas and vote. Giving them the opportunity to shape a rewarding activity shows your support for everyone.
2. Take adequate time to celebrate accomplishments & milestones
It's natural for leaders to focus on what's ahead rather than reflect on what's been achieved. Taking time to reflect shows employees how much their contributions are valued. This includes work anniversaries too. Have a conversation with key people in your staff about the best way to honor these milestones.
3. Celebrate the company
Personal milestones are important—but so is the company! Celebrate your company's birthday each year. It's a great opportunity to reconnect with your mission, generate good feelings, and reflect on how far you've come together.
4. Encourage feedback
To truly motivate employees, you need to know what they care about. Ask for input on a regular basis to get a good pulse on the culture of the company and overall morale. This can be done via survey, or just a regular email that goes out every month. Brainstorm different ways you can incorporate feedback on a regular basis with your team.
5. Offer time away from the office to give back
Another way to build morale and employee camaraderie is through community service. This can be at a company-level, a department level, or just a simple policy. One example is allotting a certain number of hours per quarter to volunteer for an organization of their choice.
While the desire to connect with employees has grown, the way to do it hasn’t changed a bit. Encouraging social interaction, communication, and celebrating accomplishments provides a sense of team mentality that lets employees understand where they fit in the bigger picture.