Happy employees are more likely to produce better results, so fostering the right culture in the workplace is key.
There's a tendency in business thinking to draw too rigid a line between people and profit. On the one hand, it can be easy for managers to fall into the bad habit of seeking the highest possible employee productivity without regard for the happiness and satisfaction of individuals. Conversely, staff are often quick to fault their employers with prioritizing output over work-life balance.
But if companies are to optimize employee engagement and productivity simultaneously, they may soon find they have to eradicate this unhelpful dichotomy. Reward and recognition programs can go a long way toward breaking down that divide. The fundamental principle is that engagement is a real business value rather than a soft or expendable asset. Happy employees are more likely to produce better results, and as such, fostering the right culture in the workplace is key.
Management sets the tone in the work environment
Relationships are one of the primary contributors to the overall tone of a company, as they directly impact what it's actually like to work there on a day-to-day basis. Perhaps the most critical relationship in terms of determining employee happiness is the one that exists between employees and their managers.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel recently spoke with David Fagiano, chief operating officer at Dale Carnegie Training, about this topic. He emphasized that staff-manager relationships are a crucial factor in employees' success or failure.
"The single most important person for driving employee engagement is their direct supervisor. This person truly sets the stage for positive or negative outcomes," Fagiano told the news source.
Furthermore, ensuring that firms get the highest possible return on investment from their employees is intimately linked with how they feel about their managers and the company as a whole.
"Engagement is directly tied to productivity and loyalty," Fagiano noted, according to the Journal-Sentinel. "This coincides with ROI, which is the reason why every business should pay close attention to their employees and their well-being."
Collaboration is key
Of course, the workplace is full of other opportunities for productive relationships as well, and companies can't afford to let these go unharnessed. Positive interactions between coworkers can have great effects on engagement and output.
In an interview with 1to1Media, Executive Velocity President and founder Beth Miller discussed the importance of collaborative engagement.
"Peer-to-peer collaboration provides employees with a greater ability to have input into company solutions that affect them and their roles in the company," Miller said, according to the news source.
Managers might consider implementing employee incentive programs that encourage productive workplace relationships.