A good example of what could happen to you if you don’t get connected is AOL Instant messenger. Heard of it? Who hasn’t? AIM took the web by storm, changing the tech industry forever with a new way to get connected. Chatting live with someone is now used commonly by most customer service positions at businesses around the world. Unfortunately AIM didn’t grow with the technology that they created fast enough. They will be fine but would’ve been much better off if they listened to trends a little more carefully.Your ability to create a platform for your employees to stand on when they have new ideas is your recipe for success and your inability to do so can be your downfall. Simply put, if you aren’t connected you face the possibility of losing revenue. A report from IBM which held conversations with over 1700 CEO’s from 64 different countries and 16 industries showed that companies that are financially performing better than their peers emphasize internal openness 30% more than their counterparts. Social media communication is in second place to human to human communication as the preferred forum for communication.”One of the most compelling findings is how in tune CEOs are about the implications and impact of social media,” said Bridget Van Kralingen, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Business Services. “Rather than repeating the familiar lament about de-personalizing human relationships, this view leans heavily in favor of deepening them, and using dynamic social networks to harness collective intelligence to unlock new models of collaboration.”It is estimated that over 50% of CEO’s will use these platforms to relate to customers and employees within the next 3 to 5 years. A simple solution for a dynamic change in your business. Here are 3 action items to help connect to with employees:Action Item 1: Create an infrastructure within your organization that supports the innovative ideas provided by employees.The key to making this work is not so much the infrastructure but the decision to support new ideas even if there is an initial sacrifice of production. Once that decision has been made the following question needs to be answered. Does the company have the systems in place to implement the useful ideas that will stem from giving all of your employees the ability to create more effective ways to get the job done? Be willing to accept that there is a better way to get the job done. Companies systems must support new ideas from all levels and their mission should encourage employees to create new ideas no matter what their job title is. The major benefit to this is it builds employees trust, empowers employees to get involved with decisions made within the company making way for buy in and allows employees to take ownership of their role in company’s improvement. We’re not talking about the ideas that make getting the job completed faster or more efficiently from a production standpoint but the willingness to make the decision to slow down production slightly to see the improvement in employee’s personal development and as a result improvement in professional development.
Let’s take a look at intuit, a California based technology company that prides themselves as one of the top companies to work for and has the credentials to back it up. Each employee is allotted time during the week to spend on personal growth. What a concept… employees will enjoy their work more knowing that the company is paying them for portion of the week to improve themselves. Take look at the numbers on them according to
This is just one example of a company that truly understands the benefits of happy employees.Another way to improve work life balance is to give back to the community. We can’t ignore the elephant in the room on this one. The more money a company has the more it can do for the community. If you are doing something great for the community, the other side of the story still holds true. The two are inner twined, providing ways for employees to improve the community also helps the companies’ wallet and it begins inside the workplace. Begin with a simpler solution. Pick up trash when you see it around the office or when you are grabbing lunch. There are plenty of ways to use technology to enhance your public image but it begins with the small things you do. If you expect these things out of yourself you have the ability to show true conviction about your community.Action item 2: Use social media sites to promote volunteer work. Send invites, post before and after pictures, videos of the team working at the events. Most importantly, allow for employees to comment on the page.
This is a great way to receive unsolicited feedback on how the volunteer projects are going and the effect they are having on employee morale.
Community service has other benefits outside of money. It provides an outlet for companies and their employees to show off their character and integrity on a professional and personal level.
It has been said by many great people that if you want to see someone’s true nature you must know what they do when no one is watching. With technology and the social media outlets today somebody is always watching. Companies can use these outlets, most of them free to promote positive works.Empower people to be and do more than what their job title describes.
People make the world go around, by providing an outlet for employees to effectively strategize, innovate and create new ideas to improve the company on a department by department basis will improve the company as a whole as well as develop the skills to be successful outside their position within the job.
Action item 3: Select members from different departments of your organization to enter practical lessons on leadership, ownership, creative fun in the work place.
Here’s your chance to see true personal and possibly professional enhancement.
Using technology and creating systems make way to give freedom and guidance. It allows companies to have workshops and focus groups. They don’t all need to be work related, kill two birds with one stone and let them create your community service plans. The buy in for something initiated by the employees will be worth so much more.
These are just a few of the ideas that you can very easily implement to gain the momentum needed to change your organization. If you want innovation, collaboration, a real connection within your company, you will have to use your tools to connect and care about the health of your employees on a personal level.
- Work/Life Balance: A 2-Way Street? (themarlincompany.com)
- Blurring the lines between work and life (themarlincompany.com)