Culture and Employee Satisfaction

business culture intentional leadershipI’ve talked a lot about how to create an intentional culture and why it’s important to the success of your business – aligning values, living them on a daily basis, and at the heart of it all, making your employees feel as if they are a part of something that matters – are the key components.

So when I read the recent article in the NYT regarding employee satisfaction, or rather the large percentage of employees who are dissatisfied, I was interested. Especially in light of the fact that the author, Tony Schwartz, listed 6 easy ways you can turn the feeling of dissatisfaction around, thus creating a much more cohesive, intentional and therefore more productive culture.

Here are his 6 easy steps for companies both large and small:

  1. Respect and hold the value of every person who works for you, because nothing matters more.
  2. Start measuring people by the value they create, not by the number of hours they work.
  3. Support, encourage and reward people for not responding constantly to email, and even for turning it off entirely at selected times, to get their most challenging and important work accomplished. Concentration serves excellence.
  4. Help people build more renewal into their lives, on and off the job. The greater the demand for performance, the greater the need for renewal.
  5. Actively focus on making people’s jobs matter more. Help them to define their work — whatever it is — in a way that allows them to do more of what they do best
  6. The way you behave every day makes a far stronger statement than anything you can ever say.

What I really like about these 6 steps is they are easy. It doesn’t take a program, an initiative, or any training to do these things. So as the leader or manager, you don’t need to get approval first – just do them! Once you start treating your teams like this and see the results, (which will be positive), the rest of the company or teams will wonder what is different. Have you ever seen a manager who everyone wants to work for? It’s because they intuitively do most of the 6 steps listed above.

This is not rocket science and it’s a great way to start a culture change in your company. Pay special attention to number 6, because that’s all about you as the leader and the fact that actions speak louder than words. How many times have we jokingly said, “do as I say, not as I do?” Employees can tell when words and deeds are not congruent. They will notice.

Remember that every employee is there to help you build your company, whether they acknowledge that or not. It’s your job to make sure they can. They come in the door each day with the intention of achieving this. Often it’s only the leader and the culture that prevent it. Make sure you create an atmosphere that lets employees’ inner-achiever out for the greater good.