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Posted at: Jan 9, 2019, 7:51 AM; last updated: Jan 9, 2019, 7:51 AM (IST)SMART START-UPS

Enhance the X-factor of your workplace

Rajeev Shroff

Merely celebrating ‘Employee Day or Family Day’ doesn’t make the cut anymore. Organisations, especially start-ups need to think and do something out of the box to keep their workforce motivated. There is a need to interact, engage, and build a robust employer brand. 

Does it involve a grand gesture? Maybe, maybe not. But relooking and analysing how your workforce functions can give you the answers. Here are a few tips that start-ups can use to bring out the company’s X-factor.

Ask meaningful questions

Have you ever questioned yourself, “What makes my workforce happy?” Diving straight into the emotions of your employees can trigger an idea. Take an approach that is more introspective and solution oriented. Bring in the empathy factor and put yourself in your employees’ shoes for a day. Take a while to figure what’s lacking or how you can simply improve their daily work experience. By asking yourself and others these questions that are casual, yet thought-provoking, one can gain an understanding and get a pulse of what is happening in other's lives. 

Short, quirky surveys help

Surveys that are fun to undertake, give you a sense of what is happening in the work environment. To those who aren’t vocal or are shy about voicing their concerns and opinions, this is the best approach to have them share their apprehensions. You will be able to identify if your employees are happy with their colleagues and superiors, if they can cope with the work pressure and if they have a well-balanced work life. Surveys that are catchy and visually appealing, motivate individuals to be honest in their response. Having to take a survey once every quarter reassures the employee that the organisation genuinely cares about his overall well-being and is whole-heartedly invested in him. 

A recently conducted research by SHRM indicates that stress caused due to either personal of professional challenges has an impact on both  — the Value as well as the Return on Investment of the organisation. Being aware of the work surroundings in such a scenario helps you gain an edge over the rest.

Target training

For a start-up to succeed, the driving force needs to be equally motivated. And in a highly volatile market where competition is always cut-throat, it becomes difficult for people to constantly upskill themselves with the latest. Therefore, organisations need to endeavour to provide learning opportunities for the people to grow their skillset and simultaneously train them to be managers, the organisation’s future leaders. The companies that have consistent learning and developing programmes and other such initiatives see a higher retention rate and employee happiness level. 

Embrace the culture

Enhancing the X-factor of your workplace helps the organisation engage with a multi-generational workforce. By doing so, you also build the brand’s image and reputation, making it an organisation that candidates aspire to work with. By hosting multiple events and social gatherings, an atmosphere of happiness and collaboration is created. 

An organisation needn’t have just one X-factor, it can also be an amalgamation of a few initiatives. When it comes to building a strong employer brand, culture plays a major role. A culture that is by the people, of the people, and for the people. 

Encourage inner talent

There is much more potential to your employees than just being an excellent graphic designer or business developer. One could be a state-level dancer and the other could be the next MasterChef! Unless you go beyond and tap into their hidden strengths, you will never know the full potential of your employees. 

Encourage a platform for them to showcase their talents. By doing so, you nurture their creativity and indirectly boost productivity across all levels at work. Cultural programmes, sports day, annual day, and other spot competitions are a few initiatives and events that give employees a great opportunity.

— The writer is a transformation coach and consultant and the founder of Cupela

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