Over the last couple of years, employees have experienced unprecedented stress from external sources including significant losses or changes, health issues, social division and more, all while managing their personal and professional obligations. As a result, employment expectations for both employers and their employees have shifted and will continue to change.
Work View Shifts
One primary shift is how employees view work. They want a position that is more closely aligned with personal values. Many want their job to have a purpose in their life and not just a way to make a living. Since Covid, employees have a deeper appreciation overall for health and well-being. They are stepping away from the “always-on” culture in exchange for quality time with loved ones, hobbies and wellness.
For engagement and collaboration, employers and managers must both identify and effectively communicate the value of office time over commute time as employees come back to the office. Many working at home (or in other spaces) believe that they are more productive when they don’t have to travel to the office. They will need to embrace the when and why for buy-in since more time at the office will also lead to less autonomy and flexibility.
Here are a few tips to increase team engagement and collaboration:
Empower your managers. Provide coach training to guide managers on how to coach their staff. Give them necessary resources. Managers need freedom to implement flexible options to acknowledge ongoing change. Provide coaching to managers for greater self-awareness. When managers view their leadership role as an integral part of their job, this awareness enables successfully engaged and collaborative teams to emerge.
Improve Conversational Intelligence®
Lack of effective communication is typically listed in the top three complaints in company surveys. Offer training to help your team learn what breaks down communication and what enables beneficial conversations. Productive, quality conversations save time and energy while providing clear direction for next steps and expectations. Enable team members to move from distrust and resistance to partnerships and co-creation. This type of training will enable employees to shift from emotional triggers and potential conflict to mutual respect and withholding judgment for effective communication.
Prioritize Employee Engagement
Create guidelines for collaboration and communication and include regular opportunities for brainstorming and support. Working remotely and hybrid can lead to feelings of disconnection. Include a plan to record or document all important conversations so that the entire team has easy access to them. Be sure to acknowledge and reward team members for exceptional contributions when appropriate. Employees want to feel heard, valued and supported. To increase employee engagement and retention, engage in conversations that explore topics such as how they would like to grow or be supported. Intentional engagement strengthens the team, which leads to less absenteeism, lower turnover, and increased profits.
When employees feel heard and have a foundation of trust, they are more likely to be engaged and serve as effective collaborators. Additionally. for the transition back to the workplace to be successful, employees need to feel safe physically, mentally, and emotionally. Employees are more likely to feel fulfilled and productive and enjoy increased well-being when they have strong relationships at work. A hybrid workplace can be the hub that connects and engages your teams.
Organizations that provide coaching, and mentorship along with training on topics such as enhanced communication, building resiliency and emotional intelligence will have a definite advantage. A commitment to listening by management will significantly improve team engagement and collaboration and increase employee retention.
Let’s connect for a complimentary consultation if you want to learn more. Please schedule a time via our website: www.goldencareerstategies.com or call Stacey at 864-527-0425.
About the Author – Stacey Bevill is the owner and president of Golden Career Strategies. She has over 20 years of business and marketing experience and has master’s level certifications in coaching, marketing strategies, entrepreneurship, and project management. Bevill is passionate about helping organizations improve communication, employee engagement and motivation, and mental fitness. She also strongly supports individuals in transition and those interested in personal leadership and vision, resiliency, and wellness.
Bevill is a credentialed Professional Certified Coach (PCC) by the International Coach Federation (ICF), a Board Certified Coach from the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE), and is certified by the internationally acclaimed Newfield Network Coaching Institute. Additional training includes Positive Intelligence, Conversational Intelligence Enhanced Practitioner, Inspired Leadership from Case Western Reserve University, and Coaching for Managers. Bevill is a HeartMath® Certified Coach, Trainer, and Stress & Well-Being Assessment Provider. She is a Flow Energy Balance Indicator (FEBI® ) Assessment Certified Coach (Leadership Patterns) and a Strong Interest Inventory® and MBTI® Certified Practitioner. She is also a credentialed Harrison Assessments provider for both individuals and organizations.
Bevill has received “value-added” training for her manufacturing clients: Certified Local Change Agent (credentialed by APMG), Certified Master Project Manager,® Lean Six Sigma Black Belt training certification, ISO 9001:2015 Standard & Internal/Supplier Auditor, IATF 16949: 2016 – Understanding Standard and Auditing. She is a graduate of Leadership South Carolina, Leadership Spartanburg, The Women’s Campaign School at Yale, The Spartanburg County Foundation’s Grassroots Leadership Development Institute, and Furman Connections: Women Leaders of the Upstate. She is an active volunteer with One to One: Women Coaching Women as a coach lead and volunteer coach and serves as one of four volunteer coaches in South Carolina for Stand Beside Them. She also provides coaching worldwide for Non-Profit Executive Directors through CoachAid. Bevill received the Rotary International District Service Above Self award in 2007.
This article originally appeared on South Carolina Manufacturing. Reprinted with permission.