Professionalism is about hitting milestones and delivering high quality while presenting yourself (and the brand) as a market leader.
Interestingly enough, that has nothing to do with the day-to-day activities at the office. You can pretty much turn your office into a football stadium or build your walls with LEGO as long as your team can get their work done as expected.
Which is why professionalism is an integral component of the company culture. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be boring, cold, and depressing.
In fact, plenty of companies are openly showcasing their own culture in a friendlier way. You can see Instagram photos and stories from professional companies who are having a lot of fun at the workplace celebrating holidays or organizing parties for project launches. Even random fun videos and Tumblr accounts are not uncommon for most modern organizations – even across companies like Google popular for their workplaces (and various employee benefits).
As an employer:
- Make sure you find the right balance between flexibility and responsibility.
- Give your staff freedom so long as they adhere to the quality standards of their work.
- Don’t tolerate sloppiness but make it clear that their behavior is acceptable within the norms for those who take their job duties seriously.
- Organize workshops or other internal meetings where people are welcome to give their ideas without being judged or harassed.
- Continuously repeat that proactiveness is rewarded. Give props or bonuses to those who come up with innovative ideas that would help the business.
- Take your team to a team building party a couple times. Let them see your personality after business hours. People often forget that a corporate hustler can be a friendly fellow at a bar and both things can live separately.
- Foster proactivity in your management team as well. Your company culture translates from top to bottom – and everyone on your team should have direct access to leadership sharing the company values.
Employee engagement does positive returns to the company. These are the top reasons why investing in employee engagement is significant to your company’s success:
Better alignment between personal goals and professional needs. A potential misalignment leads to lower satisfaction, higher turnover, and lower work productivity.
- Brand awareness. Happy employees are happy to brag about their workplace, share stories, represent the company in the best possible manner. This supports marketing and sales, as well as recruitment.
- Less workplace drama. Backstabbing or internal conflicts can be devastating for any organization. Satisfied employees work together and deliver more as a team.
- Reduced expenses for turnover and recruitment. Engaged employees stick around for a longer period of time, climbing up the corporate ladder. This is an opportunity for growing teams, appointing team leaders and managers, and assigning responsibilities to key stakeholders within the organization.
- Transparent communication. Employee engagement also covers proactiveness, initiative, self-management. Instead of shepherding your team, you can trust them, gather invaluable insights, and make sure goals are being met.
- Additional commitment. Engaged employees are more likely to put the extra time and effort whenever necessarily. That may include overtime, attending meetups, or answering client emails over the weekend.
- Overall lower costs. Startups and small teams often compete with larger companies due to their culture and purpose, not through big paychecks and employment packages. Professionals want to invest their working hours in a purposeful initiative while working on a great team.
Investing in employee engagement increases productivity, improves the quality of work and retains the company’s top talents. It’s a win-win situation as the company’s revenue grows, so does its employees. For small businesses, having loyal and long-term employees gives them space and proper timeline to grow. For more stabilized businesses, it provides better stability and better production.