Engage Their Employees
A few years ago, 100 experts on employee engagement (including yours truly) contributed our most important advice to a free eBook titled Employee Engagement: Powerful Sentences of Advice for Managers. We were tasked with delivering a single sentence that best summed up how leaders can improve the engagement of their employees.
While one sentence of advice can hardly cover the full topic, I found it an interesting challenge. Here’s what I wrote:
“Engagement is about capturing the hearts and minds of your team; open your heart and show you believe in them and truly care about them as people, and they will move mountains.”
Why we should care.
Not all leaders have control of every overarching factor that significantly affects employee engagement. (In fact, most don’t.) Maybe a leader has little influence in shaping the vision and values of the company, or the behavior and communication practices of the top leaders. Sometimes employee benefits and development budgets within their organization are beyond their influence.
Yet, that doesn’t stop a great leader. Leaders can always inspire employee engagement and loyalty within their teams—and they do that by caring about their people.
What caring looks like.
Have you ever been lucky enough to work for someone whose belief in you and your teammates was absolute and unshakeable? Who consistently and open-heartedly demonstrated their concern for each person on their team as unique and valuable individuals?
That kind of leader may be rare, but they do exist. Like the great coach Jimmy Valvano, head coach at North Carolina when his underdog team upset a vastly more talented Houston team for the NCAA championship in 1983. When asked about the secret to motivating a team to succeed despite insurmountable odds, he pointed to the magic of really believing in his people.
Coach Valvano was a man who lived with an open heart, someone who loved and cared deeply for the people in his work life as well as his family life. He often believed in his people more than they believed in themselves. That unshakeable belief is what made his team overcome the odds.
Show people that you care.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” It’s an old adage that’s just as true today. No matter your level within your organization, caring about your team is the single most effective way to improve employee engagement. (It’s also an incredibly rewarding way to live your life.)
Want to connect with Tom about employee engagement? Give us a call at (859) 415-1000 or drop us a line in the form at the bottom of this page.