Has your team’s day-to-day performance gone stale? Have you noticed enthusiasm has declined? Is turnover increasing?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, your team may be suffering from low employee engagement.
A recent report by Gallup, The State of the American Workforce, shows 70% of people are not engaged at work. If you believe that your team may be suffering from sluggish engagement, here are three things you can do to help them get back on track:
1. Be an Encourager not a Discourager
When a team is engaged, it’s because it has a firm belief in the reliability, strength or ability of a leader. That belief develops over time because of the culture of encouragement created by that leader. If you want your team to be more engaged, then learn to be an encourager, not a discourager. As you become more of an encourager, you will find that your team is not intimidated or fearful about speaking their minds. If fact, you will notice that creativity and innovation will be more evident.
Encouragement must exist from the top down. When you encourage your team, they will begin performing at higher levels and start collaborating. Collaboration leads to synergy, and where there is synergy, there is a higher level of employee engagement.
2. Be a Mentor not a Manager
A mentor is someone who is known as an experienced and trusted advisor. It’s someone that is readily available for conversation and consultation. Great leaders whose people are engaged are the leaders that take the time to listen and coach.
When you think back on those in your life that were there to help shape your success, do you give credit to the managers who were responsible for controlling and administering policies and procedures? Of course not. You think about those who spent quality time coaching and pouring hours of wisdom into you.
Also, it’s not necessary for mentorship to be structured or formal. However, it must be intentional. Being a mentor to your team provides you with a unique opportunity to improve performance, boost engagement levels and improve your company culture.
3. Be about Inspiration, not Desperation
When members of a team are engaged, they are inspired by the prospect of success. Consequently, when they are disengaged, they tend to be desperate about surviving. As a leader, speak to your team with confidence and enthusiasm about the future. Shape your words in such a way that you turn all negative comments into positive feedback. In other words, if it’s time to deliver lackluster results for the quarter, refrain from dwelling on the losses and giving any hint of desperation. Instead, focus on lessons learned and the opportunities that lie ahead.
A sure fire way to inspire team members is to give plenty of opportunities to contribute to group discussions. As they contribute, acknowledge everything they say. Remind them often that the success of the organization is directly related to their daily contribution and dedication to success.
Low employee engagement levels are having a drastic impact on the bottom line of many emerging growth businesses. The rapid pace of change in these environments gives leaders the illusion that they just don’t have time to invest in their employees. This simply isn’t true. You most certainly have the time and you must leverage that time in order to take care of your most important asset…your team. When you do this, your employee engagement levels will rise, day-to-day performance will improve and enthusiasm will find its way back into your business.
Founder of RedRock Leadership