Employee Engagement

“Only 30 percent of American employees feel engaged or inspired at their jobs and the vast majority of U.S. workers — 70 percent — are not reaching their full potential, a Gallup study concluded.”

When I read a statistic like that, I always think about how we as business owners can work to cultivate workplaces where people feel engaged. We have worked diligently at IHB to create a culture of mutual respect, where employees are valued for their individual strengths; and we have come to feel so much like a big family that we now refer to each other as cousins. Of course creating a work environment where people are happy takes time and is a constantly evolving process. We’ve learned that most people will give you more than their best when they are treated with the respect they deserve and are able to play to their strengths. If someone comes to Greg and says, “Hey I have this hidden talent of doing the worm at dance parties”; he will say, “Let’s figure out how you can incorporate that in your work for the brewery”. I’m not positive, but I’m guessing Regan has made at least one beer sale with this very strategy.

In addition to valuing people’s individuality at work, we want people to have ample time outside of work to enjoy their free time, friends and family. I remember the first time Greg and I were able to take a family vacation, years after opening the brewery. As we were returning home from a week of relaxation and being able to just play with and enjoy our kids; he commented, “I want us and all of our employees to be able to do this on a regular basis”. We don’t want our employees here more than 40 hours a week; we want them to be happy while they are at work, and to have a life outside of it, which is why they are able to accrue up to 6 weeks of paid vacation, based on tenure.

My latest dream for increasing employee happiness is to build a very high quality onsite daycare (I promise not to house this directly over your office Tyson). This is another area that I feel American employers could use to greatly increase the engagement and happiness of their employees. Childcare is a real and stressful issue for many families in America and onsite daycare provides parents an option that is much more convenient and allows them frequent interaction with their children throughout the day. Of course this may or may not become a reality for IHB, but we will continue to strive for innovation that increases the overall happiness of the people who give of their time and talents as a part of our team.

At IHB, we see our employees as the heart of the organization and the brewery will only be as successful as the cousins are engaged and committed. What would you like to see in your workplace? What would make you feel more engaged? Tell us, we are always looking for ways to improve.

Online Source: www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57590832/

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