Wednesday, March 10, 2010

National Employee Spirit Month

Chase's Calendar of Events reports that March is National Employee Spirit Month.

Are you excited yet?

Think your employees are?

I bet that some of you would be thrilled if you could get your employees excited for one month out of the year. Or maybe even one week. Or an hour.

National Employee Spirit Month (NESM) is one of those events that should never be an event, but an every day occurrence. And it’s almost insulting that someone has created an event to remind us.

In other words, it’s a little bit like Valentines Day.

Should I tell someone that I love them just on Valentines Day? Of course not. If I love them I should tell them every day. If I don’t really love them, I shouldn’t tell them at all.

Like Valentines Day, NESM is a contrived event designed to call awareness to something that we might otherwise forget. So in case you’ve forgotten to inspire your team and instill a spirit of teamwork, achievement, and accomplishment in them, now is the time to do it!

I’ll just wait here while you do that.

I’m still waiting…….

What? Your employees did not react positively to your artificial motivation? They didn’t appreciate the clown you sent to the office to entertain them? The ice cream only served as a momentary distraction and then they returned to doing almost nothing?

Wow… shocking….

Ok, I’m done being sarcastic now. Really!

While I’m certainly not a believer in National Employee Spirit Month, I’m a huge fan of spirited and engaged teams.

How does one go about creating an engaged team?

There are lots of things that you can do to improve employee spirit and improve your profitability at the same time. Here are a few of my thoughts. I’d love to hear some of yours.

1. Pay a reasonable wage for reasonable work. If your employees are worried about feeding their family, that is all they will be focused on.

2. Over-communicate your company’s mission. While this sounds obvious, you would be stunned at how often we find the employees have no idea of the company’s mission.

3. Allow employees to utilize their unique talents. First, discover what those talents are. Then find ways to utilize those talents to improve your business.

4. Encourage creativity and problem solving. We often find that employers unintentionally stifle creativity by focusing on what can’t work rather than what can.

5. Focus on the results more than the process. Different people can do the same job in different ways. Don’t try and fit a round peg into a square hole.

6. Create growth opportunities for your employees. In larger companies this may mean helping chart specific career paths. In smaller companies this may mean allowing employees to take on new tasks, teaching them new skills, or encouraging them to take classes that will benefit their career.

7. Show a genuine interest in your employees. With good employees, if you care about them, they will care about you. You did hire good employees, right?

Creating an engaged workforce is one of the least expensive ways to increase productivity, improve customer satisfaction, and improve profitability. Participating in National Employee Spirit Month will likely not do much to engage your workforce. Creating a culture of engagement and getting your leadership team in line with that culture will have a huge impact.

At ECI Learning Systems LLC, we are dedicated to helping companies get the greatest return from their most valuable asset: their employees. We work with you to align 3 key organizational factors:

• Your Company Culture
• The Leadership Styles of your key managers
• The Expectations of your Employees

When these 3 factors are aligned, you create an energy in your company that improves productivity, reduces absenteeism, increases creativity, and positively impacts your bottom line. Contact ECI Learning Systems LLC today to get your free Workplace Evaluation.

Until next time.....

Dave Meyer
ECI Learning Systems, LLC

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