Archive for the ‘Employee Engagement’ Category

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Leadership: How You can Make Your People Feel Valued and Get Better Results

engaged-teamOn Engaged employees

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”  – Simon Sinek

The ability to have an engaged work force is vital for the success of the entire organisation. Engaged, energised employees want to continue to do the best for their manager and company and will willingly go the extra mile to put in that discretionary effort.

As an executive coach with particular interest in the areas of emotional and spiritual intelligence, (EQ and SQ), I have been called in to help managers and leaders develop their self-awareness so they have greater awareness of the softer side of their leadership skill development.

In such scenarios, the sponsor such as the CEO or an another senior manager is interested not just in the coachee’s financial results but also their ability to inspire, engage and influence others and create a positive team culture. Not surprisingly some have also scored low on key measures in their leadership engagement surveys.

Only do this if you are genuine

As a manager and leader, if you are wondering what you could do, here are some simple, practical actions you could take. These are some of the actions my clients took to not only create positive shifts in their team culture but also significantly moving their engagement dial.

A cautionary note though – these are not just a “tick the box” activities as in you have done it once and you can now forget about it. I can tell you now – this will NOT work. Your people will see through this and you will lose credibility.

Your approach has to be sincere and authentic. Then over time with consistent effort you will see and hear the positive results!

Some practical actions to influence, inspire and engage

  1. Make an effort and get to know your people. There is more to them than the functional outputs they produce. Try and understand the needs and wants of your direct reports and colleagues ( needless to say, your boss) so you can cultivate deeper win-win relationships. You can find out about their interests, what they spend time doing when not at work, their family and any special circumstances here, their passion, family background – where they grew up, went to school, travel…..the sky is the limit.
  2. As a manager and leader, it is your duty to find out what the career aspirations and vision of your direct reports are so you can guide them appropriately. You are more likely to retain people who feel and know that they are supported in their path of working towards something.
  3. Acknowledge and praise your people for work well done. Again knowing your people well, you will have a better idea of what works for whom. For example, for one team member, some form of public acknowledgment may be important for another just making time to give them a special verbal thank you may be enough.
  4. Ask yourself this question – if there was a company restructuring and people had a choice about whether they work with you or elsewhere, how many of your team members do you think would truly elect to work for you? This can be a good indicator as to how well you are engaging with them or not.
  5. Show confidence in your people and stretch them. Give them “meaty” assignments and tell them that why you have done so – that you think that while there is an element of stretch, you are confident that they have the capability to deliver.
  6. Show your support by being available to discuss and talk through issues that may be of concern to them.
  7. MBAW – ( Management by Walking Around) If physically possible, allow some time during the week to “walk the floors” and have a more casual approach and chat with people. People really value this as opposed to seeing you only when you have to make a request.
  8. Be conscious of your leadership style. If you have a more pace-setting and autocratic style, remember there is also a down side. People may not feel as free to be creative, try on things and learn through their mistakes as they will not want to go outside the parameters of “how the boss likes to have things done.”
  9. Good delegation – you may be really competent technically but if you are not doing your team members any favours if you are doing it all by youself. Not only is this extra work for you but again you are missing out on a great opportunity to engage your people.
  10. Have a review of your team meetings. Are you always the chair? Can this be rotated? Are people free to put items on the agenda or is this controlled by you? Team meetings can be a good forum for engaging everyone.
  11. How often do you hold social functions as a team? Apart from the “away” days, do you get together casually say for Friday drinks? Do you celebrate successes after a win or even a major piece of work?
  12. Watch out for differential treatment of staff members. People very quickly feel it, if as a manager you are playing favourites – spending time and or discussing projects with the selected few on a consistent basis.
  13. Be conscious of your jokes and idiosyncratic humour. You could be alienating people without even realising it.
  14. Get to know people across units and departments. You will get a better view of how your part fits into the whole and forge good relationships.

In the words of Ken Blanchard and Scott Blanchard: “Connect the dots between individual roles and the goals of the organization. When people see that connection, they get a lot of energy out of work. They feel the importance, dignity, and meaning in their job.”

Your reflection

Which of these points really resonate for you? How about picking one and putting it into action this week….and then building on this?

If you would like more, check out my very actionable e-book

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How to Engage and Motivate Your People

engaged leader and team Are you finding it a challenge to engage and motivate your people?

According to Gallup (2013), only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged, and one quarter of employees report that they are actively disengaged.

The costs of this situation are profound in terms of lost productivity, reduced sales and profitability and the cost of replacing employees.

And not to mention the internal dis-ease, lack of fulfillment and unhappiness and disempowerment the ‘disengaged employee’ – a person who could be a ‘valued’ member of the team must be experiencing.



How to engage and mobilize remains a top frustration

Not surprisingly, many leaders of both large and small organizations report that one of their top frustrations is about how they can engage their employees better.

This can feel like a daunting and onerous challenge. (more…)

Getting the best out of the Cup

The RWC has kicked off unleashing with it a sense of national pride, passion, fun and excitement.  All these factors also lend themselves to a sense of engagement whether at work or play. High employee engagement is what all employers and business want as research shows a direct correlation with bottom line measures such as profitability and productivity.    Engaged employees produce better results with higher sales, greater teamwork, loyalty and customer service and less absenteeism. 

So how do we get the best out of people during the RWC – when they are likely to be distracted, fatigued, and some would rather be watching the games than be at work?

Whether you are a business owner, employee or manager and leader be mindful of the following over the next five weeks.  These issues were discussed at a recent HRINZ (Human Resources Institute New Zealand) leadership SIG meeting in Auckland, attended by over 40 managers and Human Resources professionals from a diverse range of industries and where Coca Cola Amatil – a major RWC sponsor – shared strategies for encouraging employee engagement at work. (more…)

7 Insights into Employee Engagement

1. Employee engagement is a three-way process and requires responsibility, accountability and ownership from employer, employees and the organization.  We talk about employee engagement including the kinds of things employees need to feel engaged and what the managers and leaders need to provide. The latter certainly have an active role in harnessing the best of their talent and creating a rich culture that people want to be part of and enjoy coming to work.  There is certainly a lot that can be done at the level of leadership engagement behaviours.  However, employees aren’t mere passive receptacles of these initiatives but are also active players who have a role in shaping a great workplace. (more…)

10 ways coaching helps boost employee engagement

engaged leader and team Employee engagement is an issue of major concern for most organizations as the price of ambivalence or worse, disengagement in the work place can indeed be very costly. Employees are engaged when they have a sense of commitment to the company regarding it as a great place to work, when they willingly go the extra mile and put in the discretionary effort, and when they don’t want to work anywhere else.   According to global human resources management and outsourcing firm Hewitt, engagement is the extent to which an organisation has captured the ‘hearts and minds’ of its people and is made of three key behaviours – Say, Stay and Strive.  (more…)

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