Elevating performance is an ongoing challenge for leaders of all stripes. Trust us, you’re not alone. After 30 years at Employee Development Systems, Inc. (EDSI) we have worked with organizations of all sizes and across many industries. Regardless of whether you’re in the health care, energy, legal fields, or any other industry, here is one set of best practices for engaging your employees.
Get back to the basics! Are you meeting their three intellectual needs of Achievement, Autonomy, and Mastery?
“It’s not enough to be busy. The question is, what are we busy about?”
When you fulfill these needs, you create a self reinforcing cycle of improvement, growth and performance. Intellectual engagement is like a muscle-if you don’t use it, it will go away. Don’t let that happen to your team. The more they engage intellectually, the better their ability to perform.
Everyone needs to feel like they are moving ahead in their professional and personal lives. EDSI takes on the professional realm. We have trained thousands of people. In that time, we can say with confidence that if people are moving ahead and engaged at work, they also will take the same concepts with them to their personal lives. It’s a marvelous side benefit of increasing engagement.
“Thought, not money, is the real business capital.”
What You Can Do
Elimate any barriers to achievement. Make it easy for your employees to succeed. Provide resources, give authority that matches responsibility, and be decisive with your decisions and timelines. If you don’t take your direction seriously, neither will your employees!
Involve team members in defining and improving their work processes. Some of them will contribute to major changes, others might just tweak a small routine in your workplace. Either way, People support what they create.
Determine the appropriate boundaries and defend them. Guidelines can help establish priorities. Broadly define the playing field, so employees have a strong understanding of the setting and organizational culture.
Find a good fit between natural abilities and job requirements. Make this an ongoing responsibility of yours, as a leader. One of the strongest human desires is to become a master -to know that they do something very well. Once this is fulfilled, minds are engaged and inspired. Consider combining tasks that require similar levels so you can more easily match the person’s skills to their job requirements. Automate as many routine tasks as possible. As much as possible, take the mindless work off the table entirely. Streamline inefficient processes that burn up your employees’ time and take away from their ability to master a critical skill. Outsource tasks that require significant effort but have little impact on the organizational culture.
The Most Important Element
YOU are the most important and powerful element in engaging your employees. Regardless of leadership style or organization, you are a coach for your team. Find opportunities to coach them in post-project reviews, customer meetings, conflicts with other departments, changes in priorities, miscommunications, and mistakes. Ongoing feedback increases engagement and keeps it at a higher level.
“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” -Anne. M Mulcahy
“There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow. It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.” – Jack Welch, former CEO of GE
“Our newest competitive advantage is our oldest one-our employees’ minds and hearts.”
At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. 800-282-3374 www.employeedevelopmentsystems.com
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