Over the past few weeks, we’ve been discussing the importance of people and how they’re the strongest part of our businesses. But if our people aren’t happy and engaged with their work, that work is going to suffer – and so will you and your business.
Most of the time, people disengage when they think you’re not interested in them. They think you only care about whether or not they’re able to put numbers on the board – not who they are as a person. But if you take the time to recognize people’s feelings, reward their efforts, and inspire them, you won’t have to worry about disengagement.
What I’ve found is that people will likely stick around if expectations are clear and they’re being paid fairly. And as long as you take the time to train them and give them what they need to succeed, they will keep learning, they will keep growing, and they will be fulfilled.
Some Tips for Building Engagement and Being an Engaging Leader
Ask yourself: What’s my energy level like on a scale of one to 10? If you’re going to be engaging and motivational, you need to be upbeat. You can’t expect your team to rally behind you if you drag your feet through the mud the whole way there.
Another thing you need to do is to make sure your team knows you’re there to help. We need to do everything in our power to make sure our employees have good days. We have two ears and one mouth – make sure you’re using them accordingly. Doing so will build trust, and trust is the strongest foundation for a good relationship.
It’s also important to understand that there are going to be things that happen to your team outside of work. They will experience pain, they will struggle, and they will be emotionally drained at times. Be understanding when this happens. Offer support and help. Give them the time and resources they need to heal.
I also want to discuss the importance of providing your people with rewards and recognition. It doesn’t have to be the grandest of gestures – a verbal recognition or a written note goes a long way. Or you can give them an extra day off after a long stretch of hard work or book them a trip to the spa.
The other thing you’ll want to do to strengthen that trusting relationship and keep people engaged is to make goals and expectations crystal clear. Tell them what they need to be doing, how to track their progress, and measure results.
The very last thing I want to make sure you know is something I call the Beware of Dog Syndrome. You’ve seen them before – the sign on the fence warning you of a vicious animal inside its walls. It might seem scary at first, but when you look over the fence, you see the animal is tied to a nearby tree. Your anxiety level goes way down, right? Because you know the dog is all bark and won’t be able to bite you because it’s tied up.
Don’t be the dog. Don’t be all bark and no bite. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Be honest. Be true.
And if you do all that, if you take the time to keep your team engaged, train them, be an honest and motivational leader, you’ll find you’ve really got nowhere to go but up.
A Final Note
As always, thanks for reading my blog. For more advice about goal setting, be sure to tune into my podcast that airs every Tuesday.