GoodUp-Valentine-Employee-Engagement

3 tips for a loving relationship with your employees

suzanne

by Suzanne Legtenberg

Love is in the air, Valentine’s Day is here! And so is engagement, a trending topic for many HR professionals. Since we are in the engagement-business, we’d like to share some learnings from our Customer Success experts on how to best build a ‘loving’ relationship with your employees. Or, to use the official term, ‘how to boost employee engagement’.

We’re kicking off our engagement series with this extra long Valentine’s special. Stay tuned for more engagement tips!

1. Keep it personal – engagement is all about true TLC

What would you think if someone wrote you a Valentine’s Day card saying “Be my Valentine, let’s have dinner”. Does that put a smile on your face? Does that make you feel special? Or does it feel a little obvious and uninspiring?

On a daily basis, we receive so many different messages from different senders, through a variety of channels. The ones that stick are the ones that move you. Chances are, these messages spark your interest because they align with your personal interests and/or feelings. And because they feel genuine. That always works. You know it too. So how does this relate to employee engagement?

Well, if you want to boost employee engagement, make sure your communication and your campaigns have that personal and genuine touch. Some suggestions:

  • Help your employees find their personal purpose by creating a ‘purpose passport’. Everybody has that one thing in life they they really care about. Taking time to discover your employees’ purpose together, creates a real positive vibe because you’re 1) showing genuine interest in them personally and 2) awakening their enthusiasm by brainstorming about their wishes and desires.
  • Initiate projects that align with the core business in which employees actually work. If you can improve something in their daily job, it will have a very direct and positive impact. How could you not get involved?!
  • Do some ‘talent discovery’ amongst your employees. The same rules apply as in the previous point regarding the joy and enthusiasm. We all like to be stimulated to dive into our talents.

Meetups are key in bringing plans to life

We’ve run several workshops focussing on inspiring employees and finding their passion. Some of the feedback we received, was they “always wanted to do something meaningful, but had no idea where to start”. By taking part in the workshop, they decided to start their own project. “The session offered me the opportunity to sit down and and talk about it with my peers. It gave me the inspiration to take action, it provided me the so-called headspace to take action”, said another participant of our workshops.

To mention a specific example: one participant always wanted to improve his coaching skills, and he wanted to do something with youngsters. During the workshop, he found a perfect way to combine both passions in starting a project that aims to coach youngsters in challenging economic situations.

Employees frequently mention after meetups, that they now finally understand what they can do, and how they can contribute. ”When you’re only seeing the marketing-messages, you do not really know how it might benefit you as a person. That is really clear to me now”.

2. Take it offline – why dates matter

No matter how advanced our digital communication might be, nothing ever compares to real, face-to-face meetings. And particularly in these digital times, offline meetings are even more powerful! Many organisations focus heavily on the ‘digital transformation’, finding ways to replace offline communication with digital alternatives. As a result, offline communication has become increasingly rare. But this in fact, is something that you can and should take advantage of!

Break through the engagement ceiling

Without offline meetups, you will reach your engagement ceiling pretty quickly as there is only so much that can be done via online promotion and campaigning. Some people just need more. By organising offline events, you attract an entirely new audience to engage thereby breaking through that ceiling.

Through our workshops, we have seen an increase in new projects and supporters of up to 40%. And we find that the impact of these workshops persists long after the session took place.

3. Don’t leave them hanging!

Imagine how you feel when you see that someone has read your WhatsApp message but hasn’t responded. You’ve made an effort to write a nice message, but the conversation just falls flat. It is disappointing, and could leave you to wonder what has happened. That will probably make you think twice about trying again, right?

The exact same rules apply to employee engagement: if people contributed, if they’ve spent their time and energy on projects that you enabled, you should really make sure that these are correctly followed up. Share updates and inspiring stories, showcase the results, and provide examples. Motivate participants to share their experiences as well. Be there for them, should they need you. And answer any questions they might have. In other words; take good care of your relationships.

If you manage to do so, it potentially provides you with happy ambassadors who will function as a catalyst for your programme. We frequently see the number of projects increase when project updates and programme results are shared within the company. Everyone loves a good story, particularly if they can be part of it.

Suggestions or questions?

We’d like to hear your thoughts on this blog and learn more about your own experiences with employee engagement. Questions are always welcome too of course. Please feel free to share all of it with us!

Stay tuned for more blogs about boosting engagement. For now, have a lovely Valentine’s Day and an engaged week. To conclude, we’ve written a small poem for you:

 

Roses are red,

violets are blue,

we’re eager to boost engagement,

can we do so with you? 💕