As we work with companies to help stabilize their internal atmosphere and employee morale, we find many of the internal conflicts, issues, and problems can be easily corrected by ceasing thinking of employees as “resources” and start thinking of them as human beings. One of the core qualities of the human experience is feeling like you belong, are wanted, and are appreciated. Too often, as managers, we take our employees for granted, stop thinking about them as individuals with families and a life outside of work, and begin thinking about them as another tool for productivity, for accomplishing the task at hand, and for improving the bottom line.
I coach football in a program which brings together kids with no other opportunity to play football: Christian school kids with no football team, homeschoolers, and private schoolers. The kids no each other in small groups – 6 kids from one school here, 5 kids from a youth group, and so on. Our task is a big one: bring together 40 guys who don’t know each other and form a squad built on trust and brotherly love. It’s not a small task – what separates a fairly good team and a great team is a combination of talent and the trust developed between the players. A team of players who implicitly trust each other will make the sacrifices necessary to win, a team of very talented players who don’t share a common bond will underperform.
The same holds true for your employees: if they do not trust each other or trust you, your team may be a collection of very talented people, but are they willing to make sacrifices for the team and for the company?
The Community Quotient
In a corporate content, the community quotient is a measurement of how your employees interact with each other and the community at-large. This measurement is based on your employees desire to work within a community in your business which entertains a business life worth living. The community quotient (CQ) is measured based on five core principles:
- Service: How does your business engage in serving your employees? Also, the willingness of employees to engage in service at work, on behalf of the company, or in their own life.
- Purpose: Do your employees find purpose in what they do? If they are in the wrong jobs, do you help find the right fit for them?
- Empathy: Empathy defeats destructive competition and careless pain. Does your company care about each employee or do you look at them as replaceable resources?
- Grace: Grace grows from the empathy you use with your staff. Do you understand when an employee has a doctor’s appointment or cannot work a weekend?
- Humility: Humility allows collaboration and connectedness to flourish among your staff. Do you know that you do not know what you don’t know? How much can your employees complement you?
Improving Your Community Quotient
Successful companies are often reinventing themselves as they go through business cycles. As the economy tightens, the core of your existence as a company is shown: do you care about your employees and their lives? When your business budget tightened, what was the first thing to happen? Did you cut the 401k contributions? Do you cancel all raises? Did you layoff a mass number of employees?
When these events occur, your community quotient suffers. You do not need to “buy” your way to improved community quotient, but you do need to look hard at your actions and ways you can improve CQ within your organization.
- Provide an extra day off in 2010 for all employees.
- Create an employee awards system.
- Randomly give a restaurant gift card for a job well done.
- Hold a company picnic.
- Have a company day at the zoo.
- Survey your employees.
- Implement an anonymous suggestion box.
- Managers: get out and talk to your employees! Walk amongst the staff and visit departments and offices you don’t get too often enough.
- Have dinner catered for employees who have to work holidays.
- Celebrate birthdays, births, and employee anniversaries.
What things do you do to improve morale in your workplace?