When things get better?
When things get better?
By Wes Wingfield
When business is growing and thriving, most business owners or executives have no trouble focusing on and investing in initiatives around seemingly softer issues such as employee engagement. But during down periods, many of these efforts fall by the wayside, as business leaders are pressured to cut costs while delivering measurable business results. It’s during tough times that cultivating a culture of engagement with employees becomes critical. While many team leaders and managers are aware of this, they may have a hard time convincing the powers that be of it because the results can be hard to quantify.
That’s going to change. When the economy gets better, the talent is going to walk if you haven’t connected with them. Well, there goes your competitive advantage. Employee engagement is not just some warm-and-fuzzy HR term. It truly ties directly to the bottom line.
Here are a set of four key practices that would help leaders support a culture of engagement in their organizations. Effective communication is paramount and communication is an outcome, not just an activity.
The first thing is to start big. Have conversations with your employees about the bigger picture, the mission of the organization. How do they fit in?
The second thing is that managers should find out from each employee what he or she is looking for in a work environment. You can’t get the best from someone unless you know what it is they’re really there for.
The third thing is that leaders to develop relationships with employees.
The final tip for cultivating engagement is to make sure managers are leveraging each employee’s strengths. There is a process for all of this but some businesses need help getting there. Most employees want to be engaged and do a good job. Too many organizations function on a day to day basis without clear goals or at the very least what the boss or owner is trying to accomplish. Without a set of goals and plans how can employees know what is expected and how can a business grow without direction. Have you gotten to the point where good enough isn't good enough anymore?
Wes Wingfield is a Certified Business Coach and the President of Highest Ambition LLC, a Kansas City based organizational development company that specializes in leadership development, strategic planning and executive coaching; delivering what his clients want with a return on their investment. www.highestambition.com phone 816-589-6138 or write him at firstname.lastname@example.org