Rules of Engagement
October 25, 2016
As a talent manager for the hip, high-tech company Four Winds Interactive, I’m constantly thinking about new, innovative ways to foster a sense of community, collaboration and creativity in the work place. How do we move beyond employee satisfaction and develop a fully engaged workforce?
At FWI it’s our mission to create an atmosphere where employees actually care about the company and its goals and will use “discretionary effort,” which is just a fancy way of saying they will work overtime without being asked.
Does that sound like a tall order? It is, but it’s also pretty simple. It boils down to developing ways to spread meaning, passion and commitment throughout your organization. Below are my top three tips, or “rules of engagement,” for creating and retaining happy, engaged employees.
Self-expression in the workplace—whether through fashion, hobbies, hairstyles, or personalized workspaces—is critical to employees feeling valued for who they are. When employees are able to demonstrate their interests and personalities, their creativity flourishes and productivity rises. They are, in a word, engaged.
At FWI, we find that everyone embraces this creative, eclectic, personality-driven atmosphere which leads to collaboration and great teamwork. Our Social Snap application, which streams instagram photos and captions throughout the day, is one way we highlight employees and encourage individuality.
If you build it, they will come
If you want to spark creativity then you need to create an engaging workspace. Period. No great idea or happy, visionary employee emerged from a dark, soulless office or cubicle. The bottom line is that cutting-edge workplace design actually drives creativity and innovation. If you want engagement, you need to build an inspiring space.
An innovative workspace, one that prioritizes both the individual and group space, is critical to building an empowered community. If you build it, they will come … and stay!
Relationships are the secret sauce
In my opinion, relationships are at the heart of an engaged workplace, and recognition plays a big part in deepening employee relationships. At FWI we have a system of giving each other badges for a job well done. Every time an employee gives a co-worker a shout-out, it shows up in lights on our Visual Communications network and streams on all of our 300+ screens.
We also use our Visual Communications network to broadcast information about upcoming events like wine tastings, company meetings, blood drives, volunteer opportunities and more. This encourages employees to socialize outside the regular work day and builds lasting friendships.
The result? Our employees are actively engaged in creating a culture where we celebrate each other’s successes every day and connect outside the office. There’s meaning, passion and commitment—the pillars of an engaged workplace—in all we do. Who wouldn’t want to work in an environment like that?
At FWI, we find that everyone embraces this creative, eclectic, personality-driven atmosphere which leads to collaboration and great teamwork.