"Employee engagement is the commitment that an individual makes to a company's vision, values and purpose and in turn, plays a vital role in creating a culture where everyone thrives."
~Imagemakers International 2014
"He just doesn't get it", he said. "If he would only take a moment to ask me for my feedback or at the very least, acknowledge what I do right rather than what I do wrong I would be willing to give so much more of myself." Sound familiar?
One of the greatest challenges facing employers today is a lack of employee engagement and it's affecting productivity and the bottom line. The most recent Gallup State of the Global Workplace Report states that organizations with highly engaged workforces enjoy 22% greater profit margins and 21% greater productivity. And in addition, those same companies have a 65% lower employee turnover rate and are enjoying a host of other tangible benefits. So if we want to get our engagement numbers up, we have to focus on developing our leaders and creating company cultures that will engage the people we serve. The health and well-being of the company and everyone in it, depends on it.
Here are a few steps to get you on that path:
1. Be a role model:
If we are to create highly engaged workplaces, we must begin with ourselves. We need to examine our values and identify what it is important to us. And once we do, we must integrate those values into our lives and lead from within. Genuine leadership begins with personal leadership and without ourselves as role models, it is next to impossible to inspire others to follow our lead.
2. Lead from the heart:
We must remember that at the heart and soul of employee engagement is the need to engage people's minds and to do so, we must first touch their hearts. When we really care about others, they will invariably care about their colleagues, their work, their clients and the company as a whole. Caring cultures inspire people to go the extra mile and instead of simply showing up, they are motivated to take themselves and the company, to a higher level of performance.
3. Mine the gold in others.
As leaders, it' important to bring out the best in others. We must praise accomplishments, no matter how small. We must communicate in a way that does not demean others. And, we must inspire our people to believe in something far greater than themselves. This is what gives meaning and purpose to our lives and the lives of those we lead and ultimately, fosters a commitment to the company's vision and purpose.
4. Listen to your inner voice:
To lead effectively, we must listen to our inner voice. Only then can we inspire others to own their voice and allow them to be heard. We must do our part to create workplaces where everyone feels valued, appreciated and respected. These are the keys to building trust, increasing productivity and improving results.
5. Hold up a mirror, instead of a looking glass.
We must change our own behaviours and be accountable for how we interact with and treat others. After all, as Professor John Oliver wrote in his report "Engaging For Success", "99% of failure to engage staff comes down to management behaviour". Until we take responsibility for our thoughts, feelings, actions and outcomes, we are not being accountable and people will invariably lose respect and disengage.
What employee engagement really adds up to is the need to create a "human" kind of workplace where everyone can thrive. It's the kind of workplace where people take pride in themselves and their work and where everyone willingly becomes a brand ambassador. And perhaps most importantly, it's the kind of workplace where coming to work is worth a day of everyone's life and in gratitude, everyone is inspired to give back and make a difference.
Kimberley Richardson Copyright 2014.
Kimberley is an inspirational speaker, seminar leader and executive coach. She inspires people to become genuine leaders and in turn, the kind of person others are inspired to emulate.