Employee Enagagement

Management Principle: Enthusiasm

People are truly the most cherished resource a company can have, regardless of what corporate officers say or do. And, because many organizational leaders focus on outcomes and not process, they try to achieve an end, but fail to address the systems and processes that create success. Supplying the emotional needs of your employees is essential for both human and corporate health.

Enthusiasm. We all want our employees to be enthusiastic because it’s reflective of a level of engagement. This inward motivation supplies emotional energy and thus physical energy to get the job done. The question is: Where does enthusiasm come from? How can we hire people who are enthusiastic? And, what do we do with people who have lost their enthusiasm? The answer lies in humanity and not in financial incentives. Humans are complex beings comprised of physical, mental, emotional, and social aspects that require care, nurture, and encouragement. Enthusiasm is something that is felt and is usually the result of inspiration. It emerges when a person sees their part in a bigger story; it counteracts the voices that say “you are insignificant.” To develop enthusiasm, leaders must be visionaries while demonstrating strong managerial prowess–true efficacy in leadership requires both. They articulate the big picture and then help their people live in that vision through inspiration and modeling. While this makes intellectual sense, it’s not intuitive, which is why leadership is a profession of discipline, and not simply a position one occupies.

Coaching questions: Is your life a form of inspiration to others? How can you create more enthusiastic employees?

Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.

New Leadership Communication

The topic of employee engagement is getting increased focus, and this trend will intensify in the future. The rules for leadership communication have changed. Harvard Business School Research shows that 92% of companies agree that the practice of internal communication has undergone a lot of change in their organizations. To learn more visit HBR blog or read: Talk, Inc.: How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power Their Organizations (HBR Press, 2012).

leadership performance, engaging customers, managing talent, improving busness performance

In todays world where results must be better balanced with relationships and emotional connection, top-down one way communication from the leadership does not work. Our corporate research is showing that out of touch and closed leadership is not accepted. So, what this means is that the communication has to become more customized to who each person is behaviorally. Further, the communication must be more open conversation style. Through all this the company message has to be told and repeated along with goal clarity. Reiterating, this must happen in the context of who each employee is. The leaders must adapt their style.

How do you do that? The key is the business must know the behavioral style of each employee and build that into its systems at all levels, and make open communication a culture.

Learn more about how you can engage your employees on their terms.

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Engage Your Employees with Non-Financial Rewards

There is no doubt that money is important. We all need enough money to meet the needs of life and some extra for building a Quality Life and having life experiences. But, spending the day chained to a desk in a highly regimented environment with very little flexibility, vacation and recognition is not that desirable either. Certainly, that does not help the Quality (Balanced) Life equation. In todays world people are looking for greater life meaning, and not just more money.

So, todays employer must have a leadership approach which fosters the building of working relationships, appreciation, flexible hours, community activities and non-financial bonuses. Our company does this through setting work hours that meet the needs of the company and the bio-rhythms of different people, additional annual vacation in non-busy times, providing Quality Life trips to enable life experiences to be taken and time off for volunteer work. All of this brings greater life meaning. Yes, there is some company cost but it also is attractive to the employees. They are more engaged and frankly, the company gets a better type of person whose values are well developed.

If you do not believe me have a look at the HBR blog article Attract and Keep A-Players with Non-financial Rewards by Sylvia Ann Hewlett? which has great supporting research.

Also, learn more about our DNA Employee Performance Report for identifying what roles and work environment employees will excel in to increase the productive use of talents.

Top 10 Clues that Employees are Disengaging

Leadership Tip of the Month:

Employee engagement is critical to retaining top performers. Assessing the level of engagement and executing an improvement plan are helpful. However, surveys are a snapshot measurement. There are signs you can be watching for that may alert you that your improvement plan isn’t working. Just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you need to sit back and relax!

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From 2008 to 2010, employee engagement dropped to 56%. This was the largest rate of decline in 15 years, according to Aon Consulting.? So how can you measure employee engagement within your organization?? Generally companies will deploy an employee engagement survey using an external company to administer the survey ensuring anonymity for employees. Others will develop their own internal surveys which? lack question validity and robust reporting features which can be drawbacks to developing an improvement plan.

But what if you don’t have the time or money and want to get a broad sense of overall engagement, what are your options?? My suggestion is to look for the top 10 clues that employees may be disengaging from their work.? And, the 10 clues are:

  1. Quality of service and products is dropping-employees are not showing a genuine level of concern for customer needs and the quality of their workmanship
  2. Absenteeism is increasing-the amount of time employees are missing from work is affecting overall department or company performance and may be affecting the morale of those having to pick up a greater work load.

Read more on the Executive Velocity website.

Author: Beth Armknecht Miller, President and Executive Coach, Executive Velocity Inc

Management Principle: Internal Justice System

Some of the most important parts of corporate life are those that are invisible in nature. For genuine employee engagement to occur there must be an underlying culture that meets and satisfies basic human needs. Professional leadership and management literature indicates that people work best when clear boundaries are understood and cleanly applied. I hope you enjoy today’s principle on internal justice systems.

Internal Justice System - In every place where some form of hierarchy exists a de facto internal justice system will automatically emerge. It will include rules of engagement (stated or unstated), relationships to authority, and sanctions for certain behaviors (fair or unfair). In the business setting the people who will detect this reality the most are those closest to the actual work-the ones who are at the lower levels of the organization chart. This points to why it is so critical to define the culture clearly, and to apply all standards equally across the board. What applies to the line worker should also always apply to the chief executive, who is tasked to serve as the ultimate model. Companies that fail to codify and apply sound cultural principles will experience declining morale and higher turnover rates. Humans, without some form of structure, will usually default to more base behaviors. Sadly, those at highest risk are oftentimes the organization’s leaders. All of these hazards can be effectively addressed through the use of team contracts. Coaching questions: If you were to describe your culture in three adjectives, what would it reveal? Where might your culture need attention, requiring more clarity?

Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.

*Dean Harbry is entertaining creating a second roundtable group?with the?purpose?of helping organizational leaders develop and implement a team contract. Please let me know if you are interested or know of anyone who may benefit from this process.

Engaging Your Employees

Mary Lorenz of? CareerBuilder.com recently published an article focusing on management of employees, “How not to motivate employees: 10 management habits to break now“.

The ten habits that are pointed out in the article are great and include – Don’t assume people understand your reasoning behind decisions; Don’t forget that praise is about them, not you; and, Don’t speak negatively about other team members, their peers or senior management and leaders.

It is important to remember that everybody wants to be recognized for their strengths and in an environment where they can use them. This means leaders need to manage people based on their unique strengths. Further, they need to be emotionally engaged with communication customized to who they are. In the end this will build confidence which is the key to performance and realizing human potential.

Click here to read the article.

What are your thoughts?