Companies around the world are investing considerable time and money into finding the pot at the end of the rainbow when it comes to creating a culture that creates high employee engagement. The thought is that engaged employees will be more loyal, productive, and likely to stay around awhile.
I suggest there is one thing contributing to the lack of engagement that could be resolved today. I also think that there are at least five actions leaders can take today to change the momentum in favor of more employee engagement.
To start, stop thinking of employee engagement like musical chairs. The scarcity mindset that comes with musical chairs gets in the way of creating an engaging culture. When there are six employees and only five chairs, there will always be winners and losers, no one wants to be a loser. Test it for yourself and see what happens the next time you set up a meeting with six people and six opportunities.
My experiences throughout my 35-year corporate career taught me some ways to engage employees meaningfully. Here are five of them:
1. Ask someone a question and wait to hear their answer. All too often leaders ask questions on the walk by and rarely stop to listen to the response. The message sent to that person is that they are not important or valuable. Listening is an essential trait for all leaders.
2. Personalize your interactions with others. Call the person by their name when talking with them and maintain eye contact. People want to feel like they matter. Recognizing is an essential trait for all leaders.
3. Be original and transparent when interacting with others. People want to know that you care and that you will support them in achieving their career goals. Sharing who you are empowers others to see what is possible for themselves. Empowering is another essential trait for all leaders.
4. Share ongoing feedback with others and be open to receiving it as well. Exchanging feedback creates a culture of trust and respect. This is just one of the many ways a leader can serve others. Serving is an essential trait of leaders.
5. Acknowledge when someone has success so that they know that they did matters to you and the organization. People want to engage with other people who make them feel included and valued. Achieving is another essential trait of leaders.
With a mind-shift from scarcity to enough leaders can create a culture of engagement and inclusion. Setting the game up for everyone to be a winner interrupts the self-talk that keeps people on the outside. Leaders have the potential to impact people in this positive way.
When you commit to taking at least one of the actions listed above, you have started on the journey of creating real employee engagement that people talk about in all the right circles. Standing out as an organization that excels in employee engagement yields benefits like attracting and retaining top talent, solving problems more creatively, and developing a high interest in succession planning for future leaders.
Enhancing Employee Engagement is the work of every leader in an organization, will you share your insights from this article with your colleagues in order to create a movement in your organization?
What’s Next? Talk with others. Take action.
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