How to Enhance Engagement from Employees in the Company?

How can employee satisfaction be increased for the growth of a company? Greetings: the key to enhancing engagement?

The original article “Greetings: the key to enhancing engagement” is a part of the WORK MILL with Forbes JAPAN Issue 4 -loved company©WORK MILL, published on April 11, 2019

Ryuji Nakatake, a “coach for coaches” who hosts corporate coaching sessions, explains.

Slogans for becoming a company that is loved by its employees have become progressively popular these past few years. More courses are being held on raising employee satisfaction. However, merely twenty years ago, prioritizing customer satisfaction over employee satisfaction was mainstream.

A major factor behind this transformation is the change in the industrial structure. The products and services that are offered today are no longer simply consumed, but selectively consumed based on the values of the manufacturers. At the same time, the roles that companies require of employees have shifted from efficient managerial skills to creative thinking and planning skills.

As the latest neuroscience findings are reflected in business management research, it’s also become clear that continuous growth cannot be obtained without high employee satisfaction.
To become a more sustainable organization, what comes first and foremost, is satisfying the people within. This is a new business challenge that many managers are faced with today. This also explains why key phrases such as “well-being” and “eudemonism” have been trending.
To perceive what must be done to become a company that is loved by its employees, it is necessary to first understand what this state means.

I believe a company is loved by its employees when each and every employee truly loves the version of him or herself working there. When people can acknowledge that being a part of the company strengthens their identities and heightens their self-esteem, they will happily give back to the company in return. A company that is loved by its employees is a company where employees can love themselves. The protagonist in this scenario must be each and every worker. For a manager to work enthusiastically on polishing their charisma to make their employees fall in love with them, is the wrong approach. It would actually work better if the manager even faded a bit into the background.

So what is the definitive difference between a company that’s loved by its employees and one that’s not? I feel that this lies in how many questions the leaders ask their members. An organization led by a leader who creates many opportunities for his or her members to think for themselves, and to express their opinions, rather than one who gives orders top to bottom, is much livelier and will create a truly satisfactory environment for its workers.

Those questions mustn’t be just a list of options, but real questions that elicit what the workers think and why think that way. Such questions are opportunities for the employees to search inside themselves.

Through these experiences, they feel that their existence is acknowledged. One skill that is most crucial in this process is attentive listening. At my clients’ companies, I’ve noticed how leaders who are admired as having great communicative skills are likely to be expert listeners. Some even make it their rule to be the listener for ninety percent of the conversation.

Ask and listen

Tobecome a company that is loved by its employees, communicating with each and every one of the workers is very important. Firms such as Recruit and Rakuten have functioned in this manner for a long time, and most recently, Crazy has employee lunch gatherings every day. It may seem like a costly policy, but at all of these firms, it’s considered an investment. So, how should a company begin on this journey? First, implement a framework for more communication. Regulate systems such as holding thorough one-on-one meetings between superiors and subordinates to change conventional communication customs.

Also, a leader should begin by heartily greeting the employees in the morning. When you enter the office, call everyone you see by his or her name, and say good morning. This is actually quite difficult. But the employees who are greeted in this manner will definitely gain a sense of acknowledgment just for being there.

Once people are confident that they are being acknowledged, they will be able to display their full abilities. What I would like to stress here is that acknowledging employees and expecting a high standard from them must come hand in hand. It’s also crucial to convey that this is not for the company, but for their personal growth. When people are told that, they naturally begin to think for the team. The more the leader says that it’s for them, the more the members will work harder for the organization. This is what builds up a company that is loved by its employees. More employees will begin to love themselves at the company, and the organization will gradually transform into something amazing.

Ryuji Nakatake
Japan Rugby Football Union coaching director, Teambox managing director, Japan Wheelchair Rugby Federation vice-chairman, and Sports Coaching Japan representative director. Hosts many corporate courses.

Ryuji Nakatake