At the Funeral Service Business Plan conference this past December in New Orleans, Tim Bridgers from Live Oak Bank spoke about employee engagement.
He said that in order to provide quality care for your families, you must first create a team of employees that care about their work. When employees are invested in their work, they’re happier, they work harder, and they’re more likely to stick around.
That’s why we’re sharing some of Tim’s best tips, as well as some of our own, on how to create a more engaged staff.
Establish a Mission Statement
If your employees don’t know the overarching goal of your funeral home, how are they supposed to know what you consider quality care? By creating a written mission statement, everyone is on the same page.
Along with the mission statement, provide clear objectives on how you’re all going to achieve it. Be sure to communicate what method you’re planning to use in order to measure the success of the objectives.
Practice Clear Communication
In order for employees to succeed, they need to know what is expected of them. Lay out their job expectations for them instead of having them make assumptions.
Keep in mind that an entry level employee is going to have different expectations than someone who has been with your funeral home for five years. It takes time for their skillset to grow so plan for them to get more responsibilities as time goes on — and make it known that eventually, they will be taking on more work.
Measure Their Success
Without feedback, employees may become aimless. What are they working towards? Employees want to know if they’re doing a good job or if there is room for improvement.
Make time throughout the year to sit down with them for a review. Tell them what their strengths are. Also, tell them what they can work on. Having this clear line of communication and feedback keeps employees from feeling like they’re walking on eggshells.
Another tip is to have them write down their goals. Use the review as a time to reflect on the goals, see if they’re achieving them, or if they need to be adjusted.
Get Their Feedback
Feedback shouldn’t be one-sided. Give your employees the opportunity to tell you how they feel about working for you. In order for them to feel like they can respond honestly, give them an anonymous survey or online questionnaire to fill out. Ask them what they enjoy most about their job and also what can be improved. Then, actually make some changes to create a better workspace.
Provide Team Building Events
Whether it’s grabbing dinner or going on a weekend retreat, it’s important to get to know staff outside of the funeral home. One example Tim shared was that he had his team go away to a cabin for a few days. They participated in fun events and also got to work in a new space. This led to unexpected interactions and increased productivity.
Team building shows we’re all people and helps everyone better understand their coworkers. When people like their coworkers, they can work better together and have higher work satisfaction.
Show Some Recognition
When things get crazy and work piles on, it’s easy to overlook the effort your employees put in. Take a moment to step back and recognize the awesome work they’re doing. Realize that without them, you couldn’t do the work you do!
A simple “nice job” or “your work is appreciated” goes a long way. Even throwing an end-of-the-year party for your employees or treating them to lunch shows your appreciation.
What are some ways you motive and engage your staff? Share them in the comments below!