5 Things Leaders Can Do To Help Engage Employees


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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Collaborative Cultures are Conducive to Productivity, Adaptability, and Revenue

August 2013                   Executive Intelligent Blog

Do you want your culture to support the company goals plus ignite engagement and loyalty in your staff?  You should!  It is the engine that drives the people in an organization! A couple years ago I noted that, “Collaborative culture is where the people of an organization are working in flow, toward a common outcome!”  Focusing on building a collaborative culture will positively impact your workplace, including your bottom line!  For years the research in schools has shown that collaborative cultures generate substantial improvements in achievement and performance, as opposed to traditional cultures.  More recently, technology companies are incorporating aspects of collaborative culture because it is so conducive to the creativity and innovation that is desired in these companies.  Even global and government organizations are reaping higher margins from this collaborative focus.

What is so special about the collaborative culture?  They enable people to meet their primary human needs, which include feeling a sense of control, meaning in a situation, and positive support (Peters and Waterman, In Search of Excellence, 1982).  Furthermore, environments that fulfill these needs have people that are engaged!  The satisfaction and productivity generated in this harmonious environment yield greater sales, revenue growth, efficiency, and profitability.

To build a collaborative culture in your company, look at your values, goals, practices, and peoples’ attitudes.  Then, incorporate a shared sense of purpose and interdependence in your business initiatives and groups, specifically regarding the following known influential factors:
               – flexibility
               – responsibility
               – standards
               – rewards
               – clarity
               – commitment

Happy Culture Building!
ExecIntel Solutions, LLC Team

Support Yourself Toward Successful Outcomes with Optimism

     April 2013      Executive Intelligent Blog

Optimism offers a multi-directional support to us, as we work to achieve our goals.  Whether our goals are linked to doing something better, doing something different, or doing something new, when we focus our approach with optimism not only are we improving our emotional intelligence and leadership skills, but we are keeping ourselves motivated and simultaneously positively contributing to the culture.

Optimism reflects our attitude and facilitates our problem-solving and decision-making.  Think opposite of pessimism.  It’s focus is on seeing the good in things and looking toward possibilities.   The result is such a powerful force in our lives because it impacts us, what we do, and the people around us!  Plus, the research purporting the benefits of optimism is piling up.  When we are optimistic, people want to be around us.  Our enthusiasm is contagious and brings about good things.  Being optimistic can also improve our health.  Studies show that it can reduce the risk of breast cancer in women and the risk of heart attacks in men.

Three things you can do to strengthen your optimism muscle and spread goodness:

     Choose a positive attitude!   – Your attitude, your choice.
     Focus on solutions!   – Think about possibilities and you will have new ideas.
     Look for the good in things!   – Notice what you are grateful for and say it.

For goals to be achieved, we first have to see them in our mind. So it makes sense to focus our thoughts toward positive ends, as they will lead to and create the outcomes we seek.

Have a great week!
Executive Intelligent Coaching Team