Start Engaging and Motivating Your Employees Today!
Be a part of the solution, not the problem
Companies have made significant cuts, which almost certainly weigh heavily on those employees who remain. To get the job done, companies rely on a core group of employees whom they trust and believe in. How can you keep these people motivated and engaged to perform – and for how long?
A recent survey by Gallup reveals a sobering but unsurprising finding that more than two-thirds of employees aren’t engaged in their jobs. The effects of a disengaged workforce can be felt across your entire business and can quickly deteriorate your bottom line.
Each employee, regardless of their rank in the hierarchy, receives so many messages each day that influence their mood, attitude, and work. These are messages about how the company’s doing, stock market performance, the Euro debt crisis, the latest earnings reports, buyer behavior and retail spending, and of course job losses and gains.
These headlines come from the media; family, friends, and social networks; and coworkers, bosses, and the company in general. (And don’t forget that, especially at crucial times, the absence of communication can be a message.) The content, tone, and frequency of these communications can have a tremendous impact on the level of engagement among your employees.
It is impossible to maintain immunity from current events, and the highs and lows can take their toll on even the most focused of your employees. At the end of the day, the one reality people relate to is their relationship with their boss. As a manager, you can have the greatest impact to help your employees rise above the negativity by coaching them, keeping them motivated, and focusing them on task.
Profiles’ John Bradford talks about the link between engagement and leadership development
Profiles’ John Bradford talks about the link between engagement and leadership development.
To paraphrase John Bradford in the accompanying video, “When employees and managers understand each other and communicate regularly, engagement goes up.” It might sound obvious, and perhaps it is, but it is easier said than done.
How many managers spend most or all of their time behind closed doors and away from their employees? Think about the amount of distance (both literally and figuratively) there is between you and your employees? In these trying times, and especially as most businesses try to begin the calendar year on a profitable note, it is important to maintain a culture of dialogue with your employees.
Of course there are methods of both positive and negative dialogue and reinforcement. Each person is different and is motivated in different ways. Rather than employ a one-size-fits-all approach, an effective manager will tailor his management style to illicit the best response from each employee. While attitudes and morale may be low, you still need to watch for and discipline poor performers. If someone just isn’t cutting it, you need to address it and establish corrective measures or else risk that others will assume that poor performance is tolerated.
Hopefully your boss provides you with reassuring messages and helps to keep you on track. Your job is to keep the people for whom you’re responsible engaged and motivated. Recognize that when you’re feeling down and low, chances are your staff is too. Be careful not to drive a melancholy workforce even lower by mercilessly cracking the whip. Likewise, don’t assume a posture of ignorance by hiding in your office and waiting for the sun to start shining again.
Instead, take that opportunity to talk to your employees. By listening, you’re not only showing them that you care, but you’re also receiving real-time feedback on their concerns and attitudes, which you can then use to either correct problems or find ways to motivate them. But the bottom line is that you’re engaging your people, which is most important.
If your organization is suffering from disengagement as was found in the Gallup study, then you have major concerns which should be dealt with by senior leadership and HR. But don’t wait for that to happen. Realize that each person can influence others positively as well as negatively. Start to change your organization today by connecting with your employees and making a commitment to rise above the negative noise and do something positive.
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/glorifytwism/5790316314/sizes/m/in/photostream/