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How to Cultivate Engaged Employees

Tiffany Harper November 30, 2018

Why do leaders want to transform their companies into conscious businesses?

Let’s think about conscious business as an updated operating system and the workplace as a computer. Many workplaces are still running Windows XP, but a conscious business works better. It’s not always faster, but it’s definitely more sustainable.

According to Gallup, more than two-thirds of the workforce in the United States is disengaged. Employees just enter and leave the workplace and try not to get fired. We spend at least half of our lives at work. It’s very unfortunate to not like something you’re doing. About 89 percent of the people in the U.S. don’t take their management seriously and assume it’s going to be okay whenever something else comes along.

The real problem is when you’re underpaying your employees and there’s no fairness. When the payment is fair and the benefits are good, additional investment in business won’t get you any further.

Where to put your focus

Meaning: Show your employees your company’s positive impact more demonstrably. Let’s say you work with a company that donates 7 percent of their profits to water projects in Somalia. Your employees don’t see that because there isn’t a line of sight where they can actually experience the progress they’re making on the mission.

Care: There are business companies that may have higher purposes but expect employees to sacrifice, which is a misguided approach. You need to see the whole person in your workplace. There’s a misconception of leaving one’s personal life at the door while they walk into the workplace. This needs to be forgotten. We need to set up workplace cultures that identify the whole person.

Growth: Remember that high school teacher or coach who believed in you? They pushed you for the greater good because they cared about you. Workplaces need to do the same. They should help their employees to become the people they want them to be.

Speak: A conscious business needs to listen to its people and their voices, ideas, and beliefs to let them know that every opinion matters. It takes a while to make it safe and comfortable for everyone in an organization to speak their mind. If all things are spoken, it will help everyone grow.

First steps to take

One of the best things to do is to find a decent third-party business partner that can survey your workers and do a cultural assessment for you. Leaders tend to think that they’re doing much better than they actually are, and that’s not good. Most people find that they had a few noteworthy blind spots, meaning you’re just holding yourself back.

The next thing to do besides cultural assessment is to read books. A great start is “Radical Candor” by Kim Scott. Another is “Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Can Make Everyone Smarter” by Liz Wiseman.

Serving your employees should also become a high priority.  For example, if someone needs help with writing a project or email, there are many cheap writing services that offer professional help for both students and employees who need guidance with their work or project. And there are multiple ways to bring gratitude to the workplace, which is invaluable for anyone who wants to run a conscious business.

The ultimate result

The outcome of a workplace culture with the aforementioned four characteristics is that you’re building a community of people that are going to be smart and skillful in life.

These employees will help you and your business grow into something that you’ve always wished for. Not only that, an employee from your conscious business is going to be a great spouse, a great parent, and a great community member. They’re going to be fully aware of their own reactions and prejudices and how these tendencies manifest in others. They’re going to be supportive of their family, friends, and neighbors during hard times.

Stakeholder Capitalism
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