Maybe it’s not surprising to you that only a third of employees are engaged in what they are doing. They love their jobs and for many of them, they will approach it with a missionary zeal. For another 25%, work sucks, their job sucks and your organization sucks…I guess they are not engaged. And then there is the great 50% in the middle, all of whom are more or less engaged in what they are doing.
Engagement is important not only in the quality and efficiency of the work being produced but even more importantly in how your team approaches customers. And as you know as a customer of the products you buy, if the person you are not interacting with does not really care about their work, you usually don’t much care about their product. Research studies of the insurance industry showed that highly involved managers and leaders made the key difference in employee engagement and that led to better morale, lower turnover and better financial performance.
So what can you do as a leader within your organization to improve performance…
- Design informal learning opportunities. Taking time to explain and teach your staff something new at meetings or one on ones shows your commitment to their advancement and shares your wisdom with them
- Ask a staff member to prepare a presentation (10-15 minutes) about a subject of importance to the team at a monthly meeting. This helps others learn about preparing and presenting and allows the staff to show off their smarts.
- Give real feedback. Don’t wait for the annual review to share information about a staff member’s performance. Give it to them early and often and they’ll be more motivated to be successful
- Acknowledge good work with a “thank you”. I use to write thank you notes to my staff when I was running a corporate organization. I was always surprised how my little gesture completely blew people away. Your staff will very much appreciate your verbal comment or especially that hand written note and they will hold onto it in their desks for a long time
- Focus on the future. Right now,many other organizations are in the throws of change, which creates anxiety and uncertainty. Continue to remind your staff of where your company is headed and espouse the confidence that you and other leaders have about the strategic direction. Knowing where the future is leading will help your staff put their full effort into success.
Creating an engaged staff takes time and it’s really the little things that make the difference for success. Plug into being a leader of people and not a leader of products and you’ll soon see them stepping up