When running a business, it’s easy to get lost in the numbers and focus solely on the bottom line. But not everything can be measured in spreadsheets or neatly laid out in infographics. There are substantial elements of a successful company that can’t be monitored through traditional metrics, and though they may not be quantifiable, these qualitative elements are absolutely crucial to long-term business growth and success.
So how can CEO or company leader create this kind of environment?
Create a Clear Vision
It may be obvious to say that the CEO needs to have a vision for the company. Of course this is imperative. But what the CEO also needs to be able to do is communicate this vision clearly and concisely. There is a direct correlation between a clearly articulated vision and employee engagement.
A clear vision motivates and inspires people, and motivation and inspiration are powerful forces that allow for emotional attachment. When employees are engaged emotionally at work, they are working for both for themselves, and for you. Don’t underestimate the power of an emotionally-engaged workforce. It translates into a better working environment, overall increased employee satisfaction, less turnover, more ideas, more enthusiasm and better business.
Assemble a Cohesive Staff
Seeking out the best people is a given when looking to hire. But best person for the job doesn’t always translate into best person for the company as a whole. Hiring a superstar that doesn’t integrate well with the social fabric of the office can be a detriment long-term. Choose qualified people who will work well together. Cohesion in the office creates an open environment in which people feel comfortable contributing ideas and working together to achieve company goals, leading to even more emotional attachment and overall engagement. Even one difficult employee can quickly sour an office dynamic. Toxic work environments are infectious, and lead to lost productivity, and, if not taken care of, increased turnover and key people leaving the company.
Engender Shared Values
There is a reason why it made headlines when Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, changed the company motto from “Don’t be evil” to “Do the right thing” earlier this year. Semantics aside, Google’s company values are a big deal, and form an essential building block of the organization as a whole.
Company values inform the culture of the company, and are a cornerstone of a healthy, functional, efficient, and ultimately productive, team. At StickerYou, our values are Honesty, Likeability, Ingenuity, Dependability and Flexibility. These values are the basis of who we are, what we do and how we do it. They influence everything from hiring decisions to customer service interactions to strategic planning sessions. They inform how we handle crises, how we course-correct and how we improve. Our values are how we do business.
A company without shared values is a company without a clear direction. Without a clear direction, the company runs the risk of wandering, and losing sight of goals.
State Clear Goals and KPIs
Goals and KPIs provide employees a roadmap, a focus for where their efforts should be primarily concentrated. Goals and KPIs also provide a way to objectively measure individual employee performance. A leader must create clear KPIs and goals, make sure they are understood, and provide the support and assistance employees need in order to reach these targets.
Establishing goals and KPIs shows employees how the work they do is important in reaching overall goals and targets for the company. Without this essential infrastructure, it’s impossible for the employee to know whether or not they are meeting your expectations, and if they are not, how they can improve so that they are. It’s a good idea to have individual goals be the higher percentage of measurement of an employee’s performance, for example 65-75 percent, and be centric to the efforts that the employee can directly impact in their scope of work. Another percentage of percentage of goals, for example 25-35 percent, might be attributed to team or company performance.
When an employee sees that their efforts are working towards a common goal, they know their contributions matter. When they know their contributions matter, they care more. When they care more, they work harder, and are more invested in ensuring that they are working to help the company succeed.
In today’s world, it’s not all about the money. Modern employees, especially talented ones, are much more likely to weigh the qualitative elements of working for a specific employer with salary when deciding which company to join. Crucial qualitative elements such as a positive work environment and engaged employees don’t just happen. They are the result of careful and strategic planning and the implementation of clear strategies.
Companies that can offer positive, forward-thinking and cohesive work environments in which employees feel appreciated, engaged and secure will have a much easier time drawing in top talent to work for and stay with them, resulting in sustained growth and a better bottom line.
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As the founder of a global e-commerce leader in custom-printed, die-cut products, Andrew Witkin is widely recognized as a leading authority on e-commerce, customization, startups, marketing and the tech economy. Witkin has also served as VP North American Licensing for Nelvana/Corus Entertainment and Director of Marketing for MegaBrands/Mattel.