Take a second to think about your team and the people around you. Are they motivated? Encouraged? Do they feel valued? If so, congratulations. But for most of us, this isn’t a reality.
According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 77% of employees say they aren’t engaged in their jobs. Some say they’re emotionally disconnected and don’t mentally show up, but others claim they’re actively disengaged. They’re so miserable in the workplace that they seem to exist only to destroy what the most engaged employees are trying to build.
It’s a pervasive—and expensive—problem all across our country. In fact, according to Gallup, millennial turnover due to lack of engagement costs the United States economy $30.5 billion every year.
Here at Crawford, we don’t think this is a trend that has to continue. But how do we stop it? It starts with aligning your employees to be brand ambassadors. Read on to find out how.
Engage your employees, elevate your culture
Like it or not, every employee is a spokesperson for their company. More important than a clever tag line or a slick logo, your internal teams are the ones delivering your brand—your REPUTATION—on a daily basis. It’s vital to the health of your brand to make them the best spokespersons they can be. We know this is easier said than done. So, what’s the first step?
Engagement can come in many forms—from lunch-and-learns and sending teams to educational conferences to in-house yoga days or providing a suggestion box, there’s plenty of ways to start. But no matter what you do, the key is showing your employees that you care about them. And, at the end of the day, people simply want to feel valued. When they truly ARE valued, the positive impacts on the employees, company culture and the company brand are powerful and long-term.
Invest in your employees to grow your business…and its heart
Leadership consultant Peter Baeklund once overheard a conversation between a CFO and a CEO. The conversation went like this:
CFO asks CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave?”
CEO: “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”
It really makes you think: can we truly afford NOT to invest in our employees? Business magnate Richard Branson said it best when he explained that we must train people well enough so they can leave, but treat them well enough so they don’t want to.
Research shows companies who invest in their employees are more likely to see increased satisfaction, retention and productivity. This leads to greater financial outcomes because, when people are motivated and inspired, they work harder.
Investment in employees begets better leaders. Those who have had professional development opportunities are not just more ready to be promoted when the time comes, but also have track record within your company that encourages others to follow suit. While it’s never wrong to search externally for the “perfect” leader for the team, sometimes that leader may already be waiting in the wings and ready because their company gave them the tools to rise.
Inspire your employees, create brand ambassadors
The Harvard Business Review recently highlighted the pyramid of employee needs created by Bain & Company. It shows that attaining (and retaining) inspired employees starts with the ability to draw meaning from a company’s mission and work with inspirational leaders.
But to be inspired by their company’s mission, employees have to know what the mission is. Better yet, company leaders need to talk about the mission with their team and allow for group input and innovation. This does two things: it feeds your company brand and gives you the opportunity to show your employees that they’re valued and heard.
It inspires them. And an inspired team is a company’s best asset. Inspired people are effective ambassadors who will both own and deliver the company brand to their family, friends and perspective customers through the way they talk, act and behave. Engage, invest and inspire your people and watch your business flourish.
Not sure where to start?
Our proprietary Deliver Your Brand program can help you turn your employees into inspired brand ambassadors. Learn more about our program here.