Today’s millennials and younger job seekers want employers who can give them more than simply good pay and benefits. They seek a motivating, enriching environment—one in which employees enjoy a shared sense of purpose. The companies that are attracting and retaining the best candidates have a healthy, collaborative culture that embraces creativity and innovation in a highly engaging way that transcends the traditional definition of “work.”
What is most interesting about this trend is that the engaged environment younger workers favor represents more than just an expression of the ideals of a generation focused on work-life balance. In terms of return on investment, the millennial “dream culture” is actually right on the money—quite literally speaking.
As Harvard Business Review reported in “Creating the Best Workplace on Earth,” increases in employee engagement produce dramatic results. Not only do highly engaged teams tend to exceed expectations more often than the most disengaged ones, but businesses whose workers are highly engaged see 54% greater employee retention and 89% higher customer satisfaction scores than firms with less committed employees. In addition, they report as much as four times more revenue growth.
What these statistics should evoke in managers and executives is an appreciation for the high levels of productivity and mutual satisfaction that come with having motivated employees. A team’s ability to collaborate and to learn alongside leadership is ultimately what defines a business’s opportunity set and is well worth prioritizing. So how do you build a motivating culture at work? Here are seven strategies to consider.
Foster a Shared Sense of Purpose
These days, all companies have a mission statement, and ideally, the principles underlying that mission are ones your employees can feel proud to embrace. Workers want to feel that their efforts have a positive impact on the world and affirm their personal life values. That sense of value connection between employees and their work does not just spring into being, however. A company’s leaders have a responsibility to build that connection, in part by sharing the organization’s purpose with its workers on a continuous basis.
A key factor in creating a shared sense of purpose is giving employees opportunities to interact directly with the company’s executives and CEO. When members of upper management prioritize taking time to engage with individual employees, the workers gain an elevated understanding of the firm’s vision and mission and become substantially more effective at realizing the company’s goals.
Host Team-Building Exercises
Team-building activities such as outings and trips are bonding experiences that foster empathy and trust among employees and between those employees and their leaders. The team spirit these events create can be subsequently perpetuated in the workplace through collaborative exercises such as brainstorming sessions and self-directed breakouts. These kinds of activities encourage employees to work collaboratively as they master different skill sets and tasks, in addition to normalizing the free sharing of ideas.
Make Everyone a Leader
The traditional company hierarchy looks like a pyramid, with executives at the top, managers in the middle, and frontline employees at the bottom. Not only does that structure tend to promote a stagnant, monotonous work environment, but it also encourages creative bottlenecks by forcing new ideas to flow up the chain of command and down again in a fixed pattern. In our fast-paced world where innovation is at a premium, that just will not do.
The trend today is toward an organizational structure that looks less like a pyramid and more like a circle. An empowered environment in which everyone is given a voice and an opportunity to share new ideas—even with occupants of the C-suite—can contribute significantly toTweet