5 Reasons to Recognize Life Events in Your Company
Do you recognize life events in your company? Okay, so you probably get together in the break room once a month and sing Happy Birthday and share some cake and that is all good. But Birthdays aren’t the only life event employees have in a year.
In fact, everyone is there for them when they have a birthday. Writing a card, singing a song. It’s easy. But your company shouldn’t just be there for your employees when it’s easy. You especially need to be there, when it’s hard.
What other life events are there? Loss of loved one (cue product plug: https://www.beyondthisday.com/beyond-this-day/), A birth of a child (cue another product plug: https://www.beyondthisday.com/small-wonders/), weddings, high school graduations, retirements, work anniversaries.
You need to recognize these…. like now. Know what is going on in your employee’s lives and book your calendar so you don’t forget. Because the benefits of recognizing life events are numerous. Here are just a few.
An Engaged Workforce is a Productive One
According to a 2015 Gallup study, a mere 31% of the employee workforce is engaged with their jobs. 51% of the workforce is not engaged and 17% of the workforce is actively disengaged. Seven out of ten employees in America have checked out. They watch the clock until it strikes 5 and they just go through the motions to get through the day. They don’t care about their company’s mission, they don’t care about their company’s bottom line. They want their paycheck and they want to go home.
We all have people like this in our companies. It’s easy to see the benefits of an engaged workforce but it is sometimes hard to see the detriments of having a disengaged workforce. Whether it be slipshod work or gossip or unnecessary workplace drama, it brings down the others in your organization. Either they get hurt or they have to work twice as hard to make up for those who are slacking.
Builds Team Unity
When a life event happens, a personal situation enters the professional setting. Whether it be due to a death in the family, a new child or a wedding, the employee is most vulnerable when their personal life is exposed to their peers. Their life opens up in a new way to those around them and because of this it is the perfect opportunity to do something that matters and makes a lasting impact.
Since engagement makes workers more productive, there will be less ‘make up work’ for others to do. Because of this each employee can just focus on their own tasks instead of worrying about each other’s being done correctly. When each player does their part well, the company starts to look like a well oiled machine with a purpose that everyone believes in.
Reminds Them That You Care
As our employees trudge through their jobs, it is easy for them to forget that we actually do care about them personally. We may not be their best friend but we do have a heart. I think it’s hard for management to remember how their employees see them. You don’t want them to feel like a human resource with a purely utilitarian purpose, you want them to feel like a human being who is unique and valued for who they are and what they bring to your organization.
Think back to the most impactful moments of your life. Was it when your dad gave you advice on your wedding day? Or the way your bride looked walking down the aisle? Maybe it was the first smile your newborn gave you in the hospital? Or maybe it was the tears at a funeral? Regardless, these memories that stick in our heads forever have one thing in common. They were during major life events. For some reason we become sponges during that time and soak up everything around us. If you want to show your employee that you care do it during this time, because they will never forget.
Relationships are at the crux of communication. For instance, you obviously communicate better with someone that you have a better relationship with. Recognizing life events emboldens this relationship and what you will find immediately is that they feel more free to be themselves. As such, they will become less closed off an more open thereafter. This could be something as small as talking about who got kicked off “Dancing With The Stars” or something as big as a solution to a systemic problem in a business process.
Let’s say they begin communicating better. Then what happens? They will bring to management any issues they may have before they quit. This is a huge benefit, because it allows management to see if there is a problem with how things are operating in their company that may be affecting others and it also allows them to try to fix the issue before the employee leaves.
Lower Employee Turnover
People quit their bosses more than they quit their jobs. Think about that for a minute. The number one reason people leave their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. Now think about how hard it is to find good people. The job postings, the resume screenings, the interviews and compensation work-ups. Then you have to train them… the point it takes time and its expensive. It also takes management away from other pressing tasks, thus delaying the execution of certain initiatives across the company.
If an employee feels engaged they are much more likely to be productive, they are much more likely to get along with others in the organization and be invested into the mission of your company. They will communicate better and you will have lower employee turnover because of it. The perfect time to increase employee engagement is during major life events because they will never forget what you did for them during that time and it will forge a bond that will last.