The title of this blog sounds like a personal’s ad; corny but memorable. Building on theme, this year I have been a voyeur, watching organisations navigate how they encourage employees back.
Many senior leaders are wrestling with, if and how, employees should return to the office. But the employees are looking for something greater, it is not just money, they want to be a part of a community that is making the world a better place.
My clients are within industries at extreme opposites of the spectrum, regarding the return to the office. Many of those in construction industry are expecting everyone back at 80-100%, regardless of whether they are required to build something on site or not. Alternatively, a representative at a global technology company, who is an award winning globally celebrated marketer; works from home on the east coast of the US, while HQ is on the west coast. Both organisations have employees who gladly wear their merch, they are proud to be employed there and more importantly, they talk of the contribution their organisation makes to their communities.
What makes these companies memorable?
As an external person who services many organisations, it is the climate you encounter when you engage. People refer to this as the culture, but I don’t feel qualified to assess culture by spending several days or a week or so with an organisation. But I know how a place feels, and if people are applying discretionary effort, this has nothing to do with where they are working; office, home, hotel or coffee shop. It has more to do with their emotional affiliation to their job and colleagues.
How do these organisations achieve it?
Well, let me start with how I think they don’t. The traditional vision, mission and values are not what people affiliate with it and is likely the senior executives reading this blog will disagree. Feel free to, but don’t stop reading. The affiliation is achieved through experiences and outcomes, a person being respected, and acknowledged for their contribution. It begins with the traits of a team.
The definition of a “trait”, is a distinguishing characteristic, typically belonging to one person.
I have seen teams that have great traits. Sometimes it begins by asking them to identify their current and desired traits. To maintain or create their work environment. A leader’s role is to encourage the exploration, identification and celebration of these. When people experience the constructive traits being applied, their engagement increases, and this is not location dependent.
How could you make your employees highly affiliated with your organisation?
Identify those traits within your great teams and seek to replicate them by having people seed them by joining new teams. Alternatively, run an interactive workshop with a team or a series with several teams to delve into the topic, define and agree on them. It may drive a greater affiliation than the traditional vision, mission and values exercise; everyone knows that this is always massaged by the executive.
Want to learn more? Feel free to make contact.