Onboard your people to achieve their full potential
While it is often quoted that millennial employees are the ones most concerned about working for an organisation that does meaningful work, the results of a study published in April 2018 suggest that older workers are the ones with the greatest desire to work for an organisation that makes a positive impact. However, apart from this discrepancy, the study found that the ‘engagement drivers’ – the factors that employees consider to be important about a job – were mostly consistent across all generations. With this being the case, we thought we’d examine a few employee engagement initiatives that motivate all employees.
What do employees want from work?
The study that challenges the theory that different generations want different things from work was conducted by Culture Amp, a company that creates a platform that allows employees to provide feedback to employers. Its CEO, Didier Elzinga, told Business Insider that he wanted to see if the theory that millennials are more purpose-oriented than older workers held true. What he found was that older workers are more likely to count the ability to make a positive impact as a factor of engagement, but in other respects, the majority of employees want the same things.
Culture Amp surveyed 500,000 employees across 750 organisations and found that the most important engagement drivers were consistent among almost all age groups. These are:
- Confidence in company leadership
- Opportunities for personal development
- A motivational company vision
In other words, employees broadly want the same things from work. You don’t have to adapt your organisational culture for millennials. Instead, you should use employee engagement initiatives that motivate all your workers.
What are the best cross-generational employee engagement initiatives?
Effective employee engagement initiatives should serve to confirm that your organisation provides for all that your employees want from their work.
Remember, people want to work for leaders who place their people’s development at the top of their priorities, in a company that has a strong and meaningful mission. When your employee engagement initiatives accomplish this, you’ll achieve a significant engagement uplift like EDF Energy did when it rallied its 15,000 employees behind a single vision.
Here are five employee engagement initiatives that should motivate your people to bigger and better things.
1. Make brand storytelling a leadership habit
Bring your organisation’s vision to life by telling your brand story. Ensure that your leaders remind their people of the mission of your organisation, providing a vision of their future that captures hearts and minds.
2. Use innovative communication channels
While all your employees want the same things, they communicate best via different media. Email, social media and intranet are all viable communication channels; but to really excite your people, other employee engagement initiatives should be sought. Creative solutions will engage people in two-way conversations, and thus help employees to see the bigger picture.
3. Use the power of the crowd
Many organisations make the mistake of communicating important messages in ways that don’t allow open discussion and honest appraisal. Instead of emailing your vision to employees or hiding it away in the employee manual given to new starters, communicate your vision in a way that supports small-group discussions and interaction.
Facilitate discussion and exchange of ideas, helping people visualise concepts and draw their own conclusions in an interactive learning environment. Make learning fun and utilise technology to engage people in a common visualisation of the future.
4. Make your message memorable
Find creative ways to explain your story, your vision, and your mission. Help people to create meaning by using metaphors and a narrative that bring your message to life.
5. Lead your people from the front
Keep your people updated on the progress that they and the organisation are making toward goals and objectives. Practice the behaviours you expect from your employees, guide them in the direction you wish them to travel, and signpost milestone achievements that all can celebrate.
As Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder once sang, “people are people wherever you go”. The Culture Amp survey explodes the myth that companies must employ different employee engagement initiatives and reshape culture for younger generations.
Of course, there are differences between age groups – just as there are differences between individuals. Essentially though, your people work for you because they want to work for you. This is because you not only satisfy their basic needs of pay and security but because you also provide good leadership and personal development. They also want to feel that the organisation’s vision is congruous to their own values and beliefs.
Our Learning Map draws on the strengths of all the five employee engagement initiatives mentioned above. It helps your people understand the big picture and how they fit into it.
Get in touch with The Big Picture People today, to find out how our Learning Map could help you deploy the employee engagement strategies that will make a real difference to organisational performance.