We live in a world where we’re constantly bombarded by messages – advertisements on our commute, news headlines in our inboxes or Instagram photos of exotic locations our friends are visiting. As humans, sometimes we need to hit the refresh button on our busy brains and add a human touch to balance our technology-driven lives.
In my role as the Experience Manager at Reward Gateway, I’m constantly brainstorming ways to live our values in the office. I incorporate these human moments into our office to make it a better place to work for all – from stocking the shelves with delicious snacks to signing champagne bottles for newlyweds to personally making sure all visitors feel welcome in our space.
I think we could all be a little more human at work. When someone takes five minutes before a meeting to ask you how your day is going, it feels nice, doesn’t it? Sometimes a “thank you” or a “keep up the good work” from our colleagues goes a long way. Here at Reward Gateway, our values are our guiding principles day in, day out. By incorporating our Be Human value in everything we do, we empower our workforce with other values, like Love Your Job and Push the Boundaries.
Living your company values every day can increase employee engagement and have a big impact on how your employees connect to your organization.
With all of this in mind, we decided to poll our office and ask one question: What are some little ways to be more human at work? While their responses are different, they all focus on common themes – the importance of a collaborative office environment, a connection to company values, and an emphasis on the employee experience.
Here are their answers:
George Dixon, Senior Consultant: I have what I like to call a #RedBullBuddy in the office. I make it a point to buy “wings” for RG’s Senior Recruiter, Carla, because it’s a special way for us to stay connected through a common interest and make the day a little bit more fun.
Adam Isenhart, Implementation Specialist: It’s become a fun challenge to hide birthday cards from people as they circulate the office. Everyone gets involved and writes a nice note because birthdays here at RG are important.
Robert Hicks, Group HR Director: The “WOW Wall” is our social recognition wall, where all awards live. It’s especially powerful for sending birthday messages and thank you messages to show your appreciation for colleagues.
Chloe Deiulis, Content Marketing Manager: I challenge myself to send an eCard to someone I've never spoken to at least a few times per quarter. There's so much happening in our company, and it can be easy to get "Boston-centric," but working with people across the globe is something I love. It's an easy way to say that I understand there's a big world out there, and we're all working together to do big things.
Emily Stites, Employee Engagement Specialist: Getting outside even for a only few minutes is so important. I typically ask my colleagues to go on a little walk during lunch to catch up, get some fresh air and come back into the office feeling refreshed.
Catrin Lewis, Internal Communications Manager: I have a ton of suggestions for this! Firstly, encourage employees to lunch together to allow space for team bonding to strengthen relationships. Secondly, say thank you. I can’t stress this one enough. Thirdly, refer to employees by their name in content so they get the recognition they deserve and aren’t just a faceless department. I’d also like to add that if you work in a place where you’re a manager and have your own office, don’t just walk directly to it every day. Take a detour or a different route, and ask employees simple but powerful things like how they are, congratulating those people face-to-face that you’ve seen mentioned on the “WOW Wall” for doing a great job, and ask them if they’ve read the top story on our internal communications platform, boom!, that week and what they thought of it.
Michael Muldoon, Employee Engagement Researcher: When companies celebrate milestones in employees lives outside of work – like getting married, buying a new house, or having a baby – it adds another layer of recognition. Employees feel appreciated, celebrated and more connected to the company’s values.
Meghan Barrett, Content Marketing Editor: Flexible workspaces are more human because they offer different spaces for various employees’ needs. Workspaces can offer dedicated quiet areas for “plugging in,” whether that’s writing or data crunching, plus cubbies for video calls with global offices and open desk areas to improve collaboration among teams.
Don’t underestimate the power of a simple phrase like “how’s your day going?” When we take little moments out of our busy day to recognize or even acknowledge others, they feel appreciated and ultimately are more engaged. Think about the employee experience at your organization and the little things you can do to improve it.
Here at RG, we make sure to communicate our company values to new starters from day one with values-based welcome packs. They’re a part of everything we do here and we want people to not only know what they are, but feel connected to them – especially when they can hold a tangible version of Be Human in their hands.
Do you know if your employees are connected to your company values?Try starting off with a poll to gauge how your workforce is feeling and gather important feedback. Maybe it’s time to give your values a little makeover so that you can be more human at work every day, too. Remember, employees have lives outside of work and our job is to continuously make sure their experience at work is the best it can be.