When you think about hiring new talent or motivating your employees, you might initially think about HR. Or in any case, you probably don’t associate those business functions with marketing.
That’s not the case for Patti Newcomer-Simmons, VP of Marketing and Analytics at Intuit. As a company whose mission is to improve people’s lives, Newcomer-Simmons found that this improvement needed to start from within her organization. She knew that in order to empower her own team and the company’s employees, she needed to invest serious time and effort into promoting employee engagement.
However, the idea of employee engagement shouldn’t be confused with employee satisfaction, although the two constructs are definitely related. When Newcomer-Simmons describes the significant increase in employee satisfaction since her return to Intuit (one of her proudest accomplishments!), she not only refers to employees’ satisfaction with the company they work for but their willingness to stay loyal to the company even in the face of better offers from other job prospects. If you’re wondering how you can increase employee engagement in your own company, consider these three principles Newcomer-Simmons says team leaders need to abide by if they want to truly engage and empower their employees.
1. Be Open to Feedback
It’s not easy for an employee to offer his or her boss constructive feedback. So, there has to be some level of vulnerability on the part of the team leader to acknowledge that they could have done something differently. It’s up to the team leader to be direct, ask for feedback and respond openly to constructive criticism or suggestions. This allows employees to have their voices heard and feel positively towards their work and their company.
2. Recognize the Importance of Integrity
Newcomer-Simmons refers to this as the “say-do” ratio. She says, “If you say something that’s really compelling and then don’t follow through, that’s worse than not saying it at all!” When team leaders say they’ll do something, or acknowledge errors in their own judgment without making a visible effort to make a change, employees are left discouraged and dissatisfied. These negative emotions inevitably trickle back into the company and can lead to a loss in morale and a decrease in productivity.
3. Lead by Example
Employees who are held to a higher standard than their team leaders and supervisors will often develop resentment. Or worse, they’ll follow their leaders, which can then exacerbate internal conflicts. Either option negatively affects the company as a whole, which is why Newcomer-Simmons emphasizes the importance of holding yourself to the same standard as the members of your team. So if you’re going to raise the bar and ask more from your team, you better be prepared to raise that same bar for yourself and lead by example.
To hear more about internal branding and encouraging employee engagement, check out the latest Renegade Thinkers Unite podcast with guest, Patti Newcomer-Simmons, Vice President of Marketing and Analytics at Intuit, below: