This is Part Three of our How To Get Happier Employees four-part series where you’ll find out how to create a positive work culture, and how your intranet can help. Find Part One,Two and Four here.
In Part Two, you discovered how to engage employees and the best, tested methods to make your crew productive and happy.Now in Part Three, you’ll discover how your intranet can help build a culture of trust that will bolster employee confidence and encourage them to become valued, active contributors to towards the success of your company.
Reward = Happy People
What do employees want most out of their jobs? Emotional fulfilment. Employees want to feel engaged, valued and connected, and stats show that when employees are able to tick those boxes, they’re at their most productive.
A path to emotionally fulfilled employees is to build a culture of trust within your company. When employees feel trusted and are provided a collaborative, responsive intranet to help them succeed, work productivity can increase by 20-25%.
Harvard researcher, and founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies, Paul Zak, has put in two decades of research into the neurological connection between trust, leadership and company productivity.
According to Zak, there is a direct link between the level of oxytocin the brain produces and the level of trust a person feels. Zak has put in two decades of research into the neurological connection between trust, leadership and company productivity and he asserts that trust is key to a successful company.
When in a stressful situation, such as a tight deadline, or worse, verbal abuse from a manager, an employee’s oxytocin decreases drastically. Zak found there is a connection between oxytocin and empathy – essential for creating trust. Basically, higher oxytocin leads to higher empathy and leads to deeper connections. Raising those oxytocin levels in employees creates more empathetic work relationships, which in turn increases a company’s productivity.
It’s evident an employee-centric culture is great for a company, but a lot of companies seem to misunderstand how to create one and follow fads, such as an annual BBQ, that only boosts happiness in the short-term but doesn’t leave a positive, long-term impact.
Based on Zak’s studies, here are eight methods to successfully build and maintain a culture of trust, and how to get the most out of your intranet.
Recognition has the biggest impact on trust when immediately given after a success. Especially when done unexpectedly in person and public. Done publicly, such as on your company intranet, gives the added benefit of sharing the success with everyone. A post on the intranet homepage timeline gives lasting props to the superb work of your employee. Their colleagues would be able to like the post and add their own congratulations. Not only does your super-star get their accomplishments recognised, other employees see that their own hard work will be rewarded as well.
Induce “challenge” stress.
Assign a challenging, yet attainable task according to a team’s strengths entirely within their capacity to complete it. According to Zak, “The moderate stress of the task release neurochemicals [that] intensify people’s focus and strengthens social connections.” While the motivation comes from employees, it’s providing the right tools to them that will see to their success. An intranet with an easy SSO log-on, dynamic content editor, agile document management and responsive workflow can mean the difference between a happy team or a frustrated one. If the tools they’re using needs extra fiddling about, it takes precious time away from the project and decreases productivity.
Autonomy is key.
Allow people to work in their way. Feeling trusted is a huge motivator, and a 2014 Citigroup and LinkedIn survey shows that employees would rather have more control over their work than get a 20% raise. Autonomy encourages innovation as employees can try other, untried methods without fear of repercussion. When left to their own discretion, employee motivation, performance and satisfaction increases, and your intranet is a great platform, so employees can:
1. Share calendars to plan workloads and tasks with teammates
2. Create, share and manage documents with full revision capability
3. Design and administer project homepages with a responsive page editor and share their work and ideas.
4. Personalise their profile and take control of their own engagement. Employees can customise their page with timelines from all over the company intranet and customise content according to their interests.
Enable job crafting.
Trust your employees to choose which projects they’d like to pursue. Ridding role titles helps when it comes to job crafting, as employees can easily self-organise into work groups according to interest and talent.
With an area on your intranet specifically for projects, employees can browse and join projects they like and immediately start interacting and collaborating with their new teammates.
Only 40% of employees say they know their company’s goals and process well. But keeping employees in the dark can increase stress levels. When companies share their road-map and ensure communication is open and transparent, engagement improves considerably.
Sharing important information is made easier through your intranet’s document management. You’d be able to upload policies and news and be sure employees got them by including compliance, so you’re able to keep track of who’s read them or who needs a reminder.
When people intentionally build social ties at work, making friends with colleagues and perhaps even their bosses, performance improves and creates greater empathy. When employees care about each other, they tend to perform better as they don’t want to let their team down. Making connections can be made easier through the use of your intranet’s social hubs where people can create or join hubs based on personal interests.
Encourage personal development.
High-trust organisations understand the importance of their employee’s personal growth. When millennials say their number one desired job benefit is training and development, it’s time to be that company who offers their employees something more.
Offering classes or training through your intranet is one idea. By creating a page just for learning a certain skill, let’s say coding, you can ask someone with high proficiency in software development act as Content Captain for that specific page. They’ll be able to upload webinars, share links, and even make competition so their “students” can submit coding projects for a prize. Behind the scenes, analytics will show insight into how engaged employees were for different classes, which can then repeat in the future.
What kind of benefits do you see in a culture of trust? The results speak for themselves:
74% of employees are less stressed
106% have more energy at work
50% see higher productivity
13% had fewer sick days
76% experienced more engagement
29% had more satisfaction with their lives
40% experienced less burnout.
“Improve a mechanical device and you may double productivity. But improve man, you gain a thousandfold.”
— Dr. Khan Noonien Singh
Want to know more howemployee engagement at your company can be helped by an intranet?Read Part One and Part Two or book a demo. We’re happy to help.
Your employees and success are your priority. Your triumph and glory are ours. Oak is there to make that happen.
Allegra is Oak’s expert content writer known for her humility, hilarious self-deprecating humour, and stunning intellect. She provides absurdly helpful content (sometimes through absurd themes, such as zombies) about employee engagement, creating awesome work cultures and solutions to internal comms challenges. Allegra is American, but that's not held against her as long as she writes in the Queen's English. You can find her typing away in the 'special corner' at Oak's Gateshead office.