A recent article in the New York Times revealed a startling fact about the American workforce, “just 30 percent of employees in America feel engaged at work.” A quick read of this article shows that this lack of engagement is just the tip of the iceberg.
At 2Shoes we are constantly learning and evolving as a team. We aren’t perfect by any means but we do all share a strong desire to do work that excites and inspires us. So how can you increase engagement and create that workplace psych you’ve been trying to cultivate? We have a few ideas, both old and new, that may at least help get you started:
- Carve out time for creativity: Nothing can kill your team’s excitement quite like sitting down for the 300th time to slog through the same daily tasks. Try setting aside a few hours a week that allows your team to focus on some new and exciting ideas and concepts. Set up an hour brainstorming session each week and allow the team to participate in some of those big, way down the road, plans. Taking an hour to step away from the current and focusing on the future can help keep everyone excited.
- Foster a sense of community: We know that this can be a challenge when you have hundreds of employees, but if you’re like us and have a small team it’s more feasible…and absolutely critical. Many companies and small teams are starting to embrace the idea of regular work retreats. If it’s in your budget and makes sense for your size team try to set up a work retreat to some new and exciting destination every few months. Maybe it’s only twice a year, or once a year, but stripping away some of those daily distractions can be a great way to help create that sense of community within your company.
- Chase the elusive work-life balance: It’s something all of us have heard and often pay lip service to but rarely act on. If you see one of your team starting to exhibit those classic burnout symptoms encourage them to take a day, or more, for a mental health day. Make them show you a photo or two of what they did: went for a hike, took their kids to the park, etc… to hold them accountable. We know that work isn’t always going to be as fun as vacation but if it reaches that soul-sucking level of unhappiness and resentment it will quickly spread throughout your team.
Managing the needs, wants, and desires of a diverse group of people isn't ever going to be an easy task but putting yourself out there as a resource and making it clear to your team that you value them as people will go a long way. Maybe you can’t afford to have an open bar and ping pong table in your office, or maybe you don’t have an office at all, but don’t let that stop you from trying to create a team and work that people get excited about!