The Great Resignation and “quiet quitting” have become synonymous with our current workplace culture. As the past two years have redefined what it means to be both an employer and an employee, companies are struggling to keep up with the changing tides. Employees today simply want a company that grows with them, that cares about their personal successes and aligns with their same values.
When it comes to employee engagement, some companies may be quick to think adding a ping-pong table or a state-of-the-art vending machine in the break room will boost morale. But those perks don’t resonate with your workforce if your employees don’t know what the company stands for and why you do what you do.
Establishing Your Values
When was the last time your company evaluated your values? Employees want to work for a company that coincides with what matters deeply to them. Many Americans have reflected on the past two years on what is important to them and their values, with these beliefs echoing their job search. Get your organization together for an all-hands-on-deck meeting that takes a deep dive into re-establishing your values. Take turns speaking to each employee, gathering their opinions and ideas for what the company and its staff should stand for. Getting your employees involved in what matters to them, while having them shape who the company wants to be, will help provide a sense of organizational purpose.
Millennials and now Gen Z both want to work with a common goal, and companies can attract them by establishing a work culture that aligns with their values. Young people feel accountable for community issues and believe they are most able to make an impact through their work. Opportunities to give back at the local level, many of which are enabled by employers, provide millennials with a greater feeling of influence. Consider this as a foundation for your values.
With a new, specific set of company-wide values, your employees also can learn what you stand for and what attributes your team members embody. Identify those key traits that you think best represent your workforce by gathering your full team together and brainstorming what the company means to them. Encourage your employees to work together on this goal, as a diverse workforce needs a diverse set of voices to help determine what your new values should be. Utilize this as a learning opportunity for your workforce, but realize these changes cannot happen overnight – set aside several company-wide pow wows to track progress.
Focusing on Your Mission
While values place more emphasis on the who and what of your organization, a revitalized mission statement focuses on the why. Help your employees understand the meaning and purpose behind their work. When employees are part of something larger than themselves, they can see the bigger picture and goal for your organization.
Don’t just provide a blanket statement and assume it will cover everything. Collaborate with company leaders to incorporate the “why” behind your organization. Giving clear, positive benchmarks to work towards is important for all businesses – it gives us the purpose, values and goals of the company that reach far beyond making a profit. Every few years, take a look at your mission statement and reevaluate. Are these goals too lofty and you need to scale back? Have your company’s overarching goals changed since COVID? Have you added a new department that impacts your mission for the better? Ask yourself these questions as your look to reinvest in your mission.
After all, a mission statement shouldn’t be forgotten because it was established on day one. Revisit your mission as needed and adjust with the times to make it more relevant for your employees and your clients. Your company’s mission statement and overarching values should serve as a compass, guiding your employees and encouraging them to get to where they want to go. Consider installing a mural with the values incorporated or hanging your company’s mission up publicly for employees and clients to see when they enter the office. Having it visible to all serves as a reminder for what your organization strives to be.
Overall, reinvesting in your organization’s mission and values will help set you up for the ultimate ROI that will be well worth the investment. When you put employees first, connect with them and give them something to strive towards, you’ll see a higher rate of employee engagement and a lower rate of turnover, helping your company beat the resignation and quiet quitting trends of today.
Ken Bretz serves as the Chief Experience Officer at TWG Development.