October, 2014 Executive Intelligent Blog
Work engagement is good for business. When people are engaged in their work they are productive and they are a positive addition to the team. These folks are connected to what they are doing and to the people that are impacted by their work. They resemble an employee that is happy to be at work. They are also invested in the quality of their work and seeing it through from start to finish.
Reports suggest that, unfortunately, the majority of people are not engaged in their work and many are actively disengaged. How much does the lack of engagement impact your success? For leaders, what’s hardest to manage is that engagement reflects an employee’s internal motivation and experience, which is an individual, internal state. There are, however, two precursors to work engagement and things that managers can do.
First, we need to clearly understand what is expected of us. This may sound like a no-brainer, but I challenge you say aloud what is expected of each of your team members on a given project. If they actually understand completely what is expected of them, great; you have the first requirement. If, however, you test with this question and they do not fully understand, then you know you need to provide clarification. Keep in mind that understanding is specific to each individual and is likely to be somewhat different from one team member to the next. And, remember that this is necessary to be genuinely engaged in work!
Second, we need to have access to the materials and resources that are needed to do our work. Do your team members have everything they need to succeed or do their job well? If not, this is a good conversation to have with your manager. As much as work gets pushed down the ladder, it is a sign of good leadership to work to get the resources and materials that you team needs. It is in everyone’s best interest that employees are engaged!
Furthermore, there are three important ingredients for engagement that leaders can offer. They facilitate this by creating processes and supporting employees to have ownership in the work they do. They coach and model for the team how to connect to their individual purpose in their work. Plus, they seek to limit and remove unnecessary distractions, setting the team members up to be more successful. This allows them to focus on priorities without a growing pile of less-important tasks or a growing to-do list.
5 Actions for Improving Engagement
1. Understand what is expected.
2. Have needed resources.
3.. Ownership in one’s work.
4. Purpose in one’s work.
5. Limit distractions.
The questions noted above should be asked periodically when there a juncture or you are seeing signs that team members are not so engaged. Chances are, we can ourselves become more engaged at work, facilitate greater understanding, or offer resources that may need shoring up, in order for everyone to give work their best performance.
Employee engagement reflects a powerful intangible that can dramatically improve the bottom line.
With shrinking margins, the people frontier is where to focus business growth. Engaged employees are good business.
ExecIntel Solutions Team
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