by Angela Kambouris | Featured Contributor
Can you remember when you first joined your team, full of enthusiasm, passion, and determination you were going to make a difference? You are pumped with new ideas, strategies and palpable energy that would permeate the walls of any building.
Then as time progressed, days turn into months, your energy plateaued, your enthusiasm waned, and you began to feel disconnected. Frustrations mounted, roadblocks seemed like unachievable peak tops. If this sounds familiar, you are around great company. No one is immune to feeling alone, experiencing the same frustrations or at times the lack of productivity. All levels of the organization, including entrepreneurial leaders have experienced at some point the disconnect. The good news is that many have also risen above to confront and re-engage within their organization.
Here is a list of thirteen actionable ideas to re-boot engagement in your business.
Time is precious
Leaders must spend time with their team member, both formally through training, coaching, performance and informally through conversations, coffee and morning tea. By engaging in conversations that determine skill gaps, what you need to close the gap and the behaviors you want to change and impact with your team creates an opportunity to identify the priorities for the next 30 and 90 days, both individually and as a collective group. The power is in the conversation.
Results, not input
An emphasis must be on outcomes and the end results rather than input. Leaders must shift the responsibility to the employee to determine how individually they can work and fulfill their responsibilities. When leading others, employees must learn to see clearly that their success or lack of, is not determined by managers or circumstances but is in their own hands. Leaders empower people to become experts at leading themselves. When you let people drive their results, they hold themselves accountable.
Can l see you?
Visibility within the organization, speaking at meetings with your people, channeling nervous energy into adding value, presenting information that taps into all representational systems – logical information, using body language, compelling visuals and engaging the audience, creates a space to bring your people along graciously. When you are clear about communication styles, inclusivity breeds.
You want your people to feel more connected and engaged, include employees in company strategy. People feel more empowered, it doesn’t cost anything, respect permeates the culture, people feel heard, different ideas are brought to the table and the identification of future leaders are revealed.
There is strength in bringing together teams from different areas – internal or external – for a workplace lunch, industry conference or individually to work on a project. The power of collaborating, bringing fresh ideas, problem-solving or sharing best practice knowledge, cultivates strong professional relationships that benefit both people and business.
Walk and talk
Walk and talk meetings or mentoring walks lead to healthy minds and healthy business performance and productivity. When you get and move, immerse yourself in the fresh air you will be amazed at how productive people feel. It starts at the top.
Imagine having time to create what inspires you
Google introduced a 20 percent program where employees spend 20 percent of their time at work doing whatever they like. In a smaller company, a variation may be one week out of every 8 weeks to work on a passion project. By encouraging your people to work on side projects you promote skill development, learning of new technologies and an ability to explore untouched territories in the marketplace. Encouraging creativity makes sound business sense and it helps you attract the best talent.
Given the digital world has had a profound impact on everyday life, including work hours, companies are now looking at cutting their work week to 4 days a week resulting in higher productivity in business, more motivated staff and less burnout. In New Zealand, Perpetual Guardian, a trust company reported that since the pilot of a 32 hour week in 2018, there had been a fall in stress and an increase in staff engagement.
A personal assistant for the week
Giving a little help by hiring a personal assistant for a day or week to recognize the time and effort your people have put in every single day, creates ripples within your organization. A dedicated person to work through administration and menial tasks that must be done so the recognized person can have an opportunity to dedicate time to working on their passion project for the week. Imagine the ROI.
Employee Award ideas
Recognizing and rewarding the efforts of your people can be done in a fun and innovative way. Start with identifying the fundamental values within the workplace that you want your people to be alignment with and identify titles that can be celebrated once a month. For instance, rewarding improving the quality of customer service in the company, a title may be for an award “Customer Whisperer”; awarding a top performer may be “Hall of Fame” award; an appreciation award for making a difference to people within the company “The Master Yoda Award” and “The Marvel team” award that celebrates and appreciates team effort and results.
Mantras help unite people under a common purpose, supports employees to humanely connect with your brand and product and is a uniquely powerful source of motivation. One way to leverage the mantra is by making it visible throughout the building on posters, t-shirts, or in a workplace manifesto painted on a wall in the building. Make it meaningful and watch how people embody your brand and unleash the power of your team.
One way to start the day is to create a sense of team spirit with a rapid-fire catch–up. Fifteen minutes of sharing your wins, roadblocks and focus for the day. Team conversations ensure all members are on the same page and have an awareness of how to best support each other.
When you create environments where pulse performance practices are embedded that encourage regular feedback, monthly check-ins, ongoing discussions to ensure alignment with objectives, exposing blind spots and amplifying strengths, magic happens. Leadership development in today’s climate is non-negotiable. By coaching managers in providing feedback with an attitude of ‘what needs to be done next’ rather than rating past performance and induces dialogue on a deeper level as people want to be able to grow and be better. The more personal development opportunities within the organization, the more you will retain talent.
When you tap into the genuine commitment of unlocking the human potential within your organization, people re-engage, and success comes to those who dare to be brave.