A place everyone wants to be

By Dann Nelson
There is a place where everyone is concerned more about the well-being of those they serve and work with than they are concerned about themselves. In that place, each person knows others have their best interest in mind. When that happens, an emotional connection is made.

We’re talking about employee engagement, and the result is an environment where everyone – employees and customers – want to be.

The result of engagement influences our behaviors and level of effort in work related activities. The more engaged an employee is, the more effort they put forth – to ensure their team, organization and customers are successful.

In his books on employee engagement, Kevin Kruse suggests employee engagement flourishes through employee connections with each other and the organization itself. Each employee understands the work of the organization matters, their contributions to the organization matter, community and customers matter and they matter.

In turn, leaders can begin engaging employees by simple discussions. These can center on establishing and enhancing connections. It’s important to remember this is a starting point in the process.

First, be honest how the work and presence of your financial institution matters to customers, employees and communities served. Ask questions such as: what is the best thing you have ever done for a customer, what would our community look like without our office or branch, and what is it about this office that makes you want to come to work?

Next, create a conversation around the value each individual employee brings to the organization, coworkers and customers. Create emphasis on the impact each person has on the remainder of their team – how skills, abilities and personalities create benefits for others around them. Then, expand to individual contributions of each employee to coworkers and customers.

Finally, discuss current and potential methods employed within the organization to recognize and celebrate employees simply for who they are rather than their contributions. This could include birthday and anniversary celebrations, collective opportunities to volunteer time and talents, or simply time within a team setting to talk about personal triumphs and struggles.

As we all tend to spend more time at work than at any other pursuit, including our home lives, it is well worth the time of leaders to foster connections that allow employees to grow and flourish. The benefits to employees, customers and the organization will be recognizable.

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