I am very happy to have been asked to be part of the Inspiring Worksplaces Awards.
Today I was Inspired.
Inspired by being asked to judge the Inspiring Workplaces Awards for 2023. These awards are here to recognize forward-thinking and people-first organizations. Which is a great cause. Close to our hearts at Your FLOCK – the employee feedback platform.
Originally, they were The Employee Engagement Awards, but they have since evolved into Inspiring Workplaces. Which I think says a lot about where the whole concept is now compared to the past. As they say themselves:
“The IW Awards are your opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of you and your team with a network of like-minded professionals. Align your business at the forefront of the inspiring workplaces movement; and together, we will change the world by transforming the world of work.”
I will be judging the small business award from 0 – 50 people.
Which is perfect for me. As my area of expertise and experience. And you can guess from Your FLOCK – the employee feedback platform – POV what my personal criteria will be for the winners. But reading through the entries – some of which were truly amazing by the way – I was inspired by how much some companies are doing for their people and the world…
WHY DID IT INSPIRE ME SO MUCH?
Because I believe employee engagement is the foundation of any successful business. No matter the size of the organisation or even the sector they are in. Engaged employees are motivated to perform at their best, committed to the success of the company, and highly productive.
With the rise of hybrid work environments, keeping employees engaged is more important than ever. And the below ARE by criteria for judging the awards with the winners being announced in May at the awards ceremony – so no spoilers in the names…
But I can give you what I am looking for. For me personally, one of the key ways that a place can be an inspiring place to work. Is through recognition of their employees, what their motivated employees achieve outside and inside work and having leaders that listen to feedback to help develop their company cultures.
The Power of Recognition
Recognition is a powerful tool for boosting employee engagement. When employees feel appreciated for their hard work, they are more likely to stay motivated, engaged, and committed to the success of the company. Employee recognition can take many forms, from a simple “thank you” to a more formal recognition program. Recognition is just a part of what Your FLOCK does as an employee feedback platform. And it is one of our core values for people too.
The differences between a leader that recognises the importance of recognition and doesn’t is a key reason why people stay in a job and dont. Whether or not recognition is important to them as a core motivator.
There are several benefits to employee recognition. First, it can improve employee morale, which can lead to increased productivity and creativity. Second, it can help retain top talent by showing employees that their hard work is valued and appreciated. Third, it can improve overall company culture by creating a positive work environment that fosters collaboration and teamwork.
So I asked our new Motivational Coach and they have me some top tips for implementing an effective recognition program:
- Make it meaningful: Recognition should be specific and meaningful to the recipient. This means tailoring the recognition to the individual and their contributions.
- Be timely: Recognition should be given as soon as possible after the accomplishment or contribution. This shows that their work is valued and appreciated in real-time.
- Make it public: Public recognition can be a powerful motivator. Consider recognizing employees in a team meeting, company-wide email, or newsletter.
- Personalize it: Personalize recognition by giving employees the opportunity to choose their preferred form of recognition. This can include gift cards, a day off, or a personalized note or award.
This listening idea nicely ties into the next point.
The Importance of Listening to Feedback
Another essential aspect of employee engagement is listening to feedback. This means creating an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas with leadership. When employees feel like their opinion matters, they are more likely to be engaged and invested in the success of the company.
There are several benefits to actively seeking and listening to employee feedback. First, it can improve communication and collaboration between employees and leadership. Second, it can help leaders identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions to benefit the company. Third, it can increase employee satisfaction and, as a result, reduce turnover rates. Which was originally one of the motivators for us building Your FLOCK – the employee feedback platform based on values.
Here are some tips, from our in house motivation and company culture expert, for creating an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing feedback:
- Be open and transparent: Leaders should be open and transparent with employees about the company’s vision, goals, and challenges. This creates a sense of trust and mutual respect.
- Encourage participation: Encourage employees to participate in decision-making and problem-solving processes. This shows that their opinions are valued and important.
- Provide a safe space: Create a safe space for employees to share feedback, opinions, and ideas. This can be done through anonymous surveys, suggestion boxes, or regular check-ins with employees. Which again is the basis of Your FLOCK.
Motivating Employees in a Hybrid Work Environment
The rise of hybrid work environments presents unique challenges for leaders to keep employees motivated and engaged. With some employees working from home and others in the office, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of team spirit and collaboration. However, there are several strategies that leaders can use to overcome these challenges. I go into these in more detail in my new book – about leadership available here.
- Set Clear Expectations: Leaders should set clear expectations for employees in terms of communication, work hours, and productivity. This can help employees stay aligned with the company’s objectives and goals, even when working remotely.
- Foster Collaboration: Leaders should foster collaboration between remote and in-office employees. This can be done through regular team meetings, project updates, and communication channels that allow employees to easily share ideas and feedback.
- Create a Sense of Community: Leaders should create a sense of community among employees, regardless of where they are working from. This can be achieved through regular social events, virtual coffee breaks, and team-building activities.
- Offer Flexibility: Leaders should offer flexibility in work hours and location whenever possible. This can help employees balance work and personal life and reduce stress.
- Reward and Recognize Virtually: Leaders should adapt their recognition and reward programs to fit a hybrid work environment. This can include virtual recognition ceremonies, online incentives, and personalized notes or messages.
This last piece is something I would love Your FLOCK the employee feedback platform to go into but there are many other pieces of technology you can use to help with all the above.
WHY BE INSPIRED? AS THIS STUFF IS DEAD IMPORTANT.
In conclusion, the importance of employee engagement cannot be overstated, especially in hybrid work environments.
Leaders can keep their employees motivated and invested in the success of the company by recognizing their hard work, listening to feedback, and implementing strategies that foster collaboration and community.
By doing so, they can create a culture of engagement and productivity that will benefit both employees and the company.
They can become an Inspiring Workplace. And maybe even win an award for it.
ABOUT THE AWARDS:
Join the Inspiring Workplace team and Comedian and TV personality Stephen K Amos at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London for a night of food, drinks, and live entertainment as we shine a light on the inspiring businesses transforming workplace wellbeing and engagement across 2022/23.
- A champagne reception
- A three course meal with drinks
- Industry recognized certification and winners trophy
- Video interviews and photoshoots for all winners
- Live music & entertainment
- Leaders and professionals from over 40 leading businesses and organizations
The IW Awards are your opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of you and your team with a network of like-minded professionals.
Align your business at the forefront of the inspiring workplaces movement; and together, we will change the world by transforming the world of work.
ABOUT YOUR FLOCK:
GET THE FEEDBACK YOU NEED.
Based on the motivations of your people.
At a time of hybrid working
Go to www.YourFLOCK.co.uk