How do you grow employee engagement when your workforce is small? Or, multi-generational, multi-disciplinary, located in multiple divisions and represents different levels of education?
Chances are, your teams are comprised of employees with several, or all, of these traits. Which can lead to all sorts of communication disconnects even though people “seem” to be using the same language to speak to one another.
Here are three actions you can take to grow employee engagement, starting today.
First, grow workplace engagement by giving employees permission to “not know.”
Often, the words used by colleagues and clients from different professional disciplines are not necessarily universally understood by everyone else sitting around the table. When people do not understand what you are saying, they tune out and turn off.
So, set the rules of the table prior to each meeting. Then, give colleagues permission to “not know” what you are saying and ask you to translate. Perhaps you are not being as clear or succinct as you could be.
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Next, grow workplace engagement by giving yourself permission to be more inclusive.
Unconsciously or not, consider how you create a team atmosphere of bias and marginalization. Often, this situation begins because you consider yourself the smartest person in the room (and, you probably are). This atmosphere grows when you telegraph your bias towards people whom you think are not smart enough to understand the terminology you use. Perhaps these colleagues are not as well-educated as you. Or, they have different job titles and pay grades and professional disciplines.
Perpetuating professional elitism is a subtle way you negatively impact your organization’s diversity and inclusion workplace culture. The colleagues you least expect to make the greatest contributions often hold the keys to creating more robust and innovative customer-focused outcomes. If you do not stifle their voices.
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Then, grow workplace engagement by discovering your “somebodies.”
Usually, “somebodies” are experts in running niche areas of your business. Regardless of levels of education, professional disciplines, pay grades and job titles. In this “apply as necessary” scenario, your somebodies reside in cubicles, “somewhere in the company.” Until, that is, an urgent situation emerges. That scenario brings the workplace together to fight that fire. After that, what happens? Do your “somebodies” resume their solitary, siloed, functions?
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Consider the value of continuing to communicate and collaborate with your “somebodies.” Even when there is no crisis. Discover the resources you each represent to one another. How about having a cup of coffee with them this week, for starters?
Then, take the next steps towards growing customer and employee experience and retaining customers:
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Babette Ten Haken‘s One Millimeter Mindset™ Storytelling for STEM Professionals and Left Brain Thinkers speaking programs are created for organizations and associations who want to catalyze stakeholder success and customer retention. There is no better way than storytelling to bridge communication disconnects between professional disciplines, paygrades and levels of education. Her programs are forged from her background as a STEM professional in clinical research, new product development, market research and sales. Find out more right here. Babette is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of communication hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Babette’s speaker profile is on the espeakers platform.
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