Keeping It Light

At a time of year when pressure is mounting for our teams and our clients are pushing to get projects done by year-end, it’s important to encourage employees to maintain work/life balance and to let them know that they are valued. How many of us have said to ourselves, “we aren’t solving world peace—let’s take a breath,” then we continue to work 9-10+ hour days? In this era of hyper-connectivity, everyone works ’round the clock.

At Marriott, we are privileged to have a core value that is focused on employees. The Marriott family says, “Take care of the employees and they will take care of our guests.” It’s a win-win. That’s why our staff supervisors have to maintain high levels of Associate Engagement as a key company metric. When you are developing your organizational strategy, don’t forget to build your employee engagement plan—it will not only make you accountable to your team in a quantifiable way, it will tell them that you are committed to fostering a positive work environment for them to operate in each day.

Your employee engagement plan can include professional development goals, training programs, social activities, team building, and cross-training opportunities among other things. We use our associate engagement survey results to identify areas in need of attention, as well as areas people rank favorably, to build out an annual action plan that reflects our teams’ opinions.

Around this time of year, there is also a focus on social activities. We have a department Thanksgiving meal together. We also have a holiday lunch where staff members are given paid time off afterward to go shopping or do whatever they wish. This year we’re turning our holiday lunch into a bowling party so everyone can release some stress while toasting the holidays and enjoying each other’s company. Whatever works for your team, building a plan for how you’re going to keep them engaged, focused, and enjoying their jobs will deliver results; I guarantee it.

I’m curious what others are doing to keep their employees engaged. I’m always looking for new ideas. Please share!

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