[su_dropcap style=”flat”]A[/su_dropcap] PROFESSOR IN A RECENT executive education program on leadership elicited a lot of laughs by telling the following joke:
“A CEO was asked how many people work in his company: ‘About half of them,’ he responded.” [su_spacer]
After the session, several participants put a more serious face on the problem when, while chatting, they bemoaned the fact that, in their organization, a significant number of people had mentally “checked out.”
Are Your People Checking Out?
I recently stumbled across an interesting article “The ten C’s of employee engagement” from The Ivey Business Journal which provides a number of insightful pointers as to what’s required to improve employee engagement.
The authors describe an engaged employee as a person who: “is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work…… Engaged employees care about the future of the company and are willing to invest the discretionary effort exceeding duty’s call to see that the organization succeeds.”
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How Can Leaders Engage Employees’ Heads, Hearts and Hands?
The answer is by starting to apply the following 10 C’s of employee engagement:
Good leaders must show that they value employees. Employee engagement is a direct reflection of how employees feel about their relationship with the boss.
Good leaders must communicate a clear vision. Success in life and organizations is, to a great extent, determined by how clear individuals are about their goals and what they really want to achieve. In sum, employees need to understand what the organization’s goals are, why they are important, and how the goals can best be attained.
Good leaders clarify their expectations about employees and provide feedback on their functioning in the organization. They work daily to improve the skills of their people and create small wins that help the team, unit, or organization perform at its best.
Surveys show that, over and over, employees feel that they receive immediate feedback when their performance is poor, or below expectations. But they don’t feel they get the appreciation or positive feedback when they are performing well. Good leaders recognize their employee’s good work, acknowledge it and reward it with praise; and they do so a lot.
People want to know that their input matters and that they are contributing to the organization’s success in a meaningful way. In sum, good leaders help people see and feel how they are contributing to the organization’s success and future.
Employees value control over the flow and pace of their jobs and good leaders can create opportunities for employees to exercise this control. A feeling of “being in on things,” and of being given opportunities to participate in decision making creates trust and a culture where people want to take ownership of problems and their solutions.
Studies show that, when employees work in teams and have the trust and cooperation of their team members, they outperform individuals and teams which lack good relationships. Good leaders are team builders; they create an environment that fosters trust and collaboration.
Good leaders should strive to maintain a company’s reputation and demonstrate high ethical standards. People want to be proud of their jobs, their performance, their organization and the leaders they work for.
Good leaders has more than a title on his door. She also has the trust and support of those who follow her. To make an impact on peoples’ lives, leaders must create credibility and confidence in the eyes of those they lead.
Good leaders should provide challenging and meaningful work with opportunities for career advancement. Most people want to do new things in their job. For example, do organizations provide job rotation for their top talent? Are people assigned stretch goals?[/message][su_spacer]
Smart Moves Tip:
Looking at the above list it seems that many of the characteristics are about practicing effective leadership. To me employee engagement is not really about the employees, it’s really about effective leadership. Check out “Do you have cheerleaders, vampires, or seat warmers?”
[bctt tweet=”What do you think? How engaged are the employees in your organization? Are you leading effectively?” via=”no”]
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