Engage Employees for Success!

PEOPLE are important.  In business, your workforce are the highest cost for you and they can ( and will) make or break your business!    So why would you not respect that and them?

Some (many?)  organisations don’t though, and I have been employed by some myself sadly as have others I know of through friends, family and client work. Hence these are really important relationships to have to manage and monitor.   Yet – manager’s often don’t.  And leaders struggle to lead and succeed effectively then.

To”engage someone”  is to – contract (employ) pledge or promise (marriage), to relate to, meet for mutual benefit,  and to be occupied with, be engrossed in an activity or win or attract (attention) and participate with, obligate to and interlock action together.

It is an activity, it involves more than one person or objective – and it aims to get results!

This is what relationships are – engagement, involvement, activity, objectives, outcomes, sharing…

…sharing responsibility, accountability and success.  For them and for you.

How hard can it be?  We handle relationships all day, every day – positively or negatively, successfully or not; at home, work, travelling, phone calls, customer care, suppliers, team work or report writing.   It’s all about relationships.

What you want from your relationships others want from theirs – respect, opportunity, stimulation, trust, acknowledgement, fulfillment.

How to give it?

Delegation of duties is not about dumping unwanted jobs onto someone else – it’s about giving them chance to shine, chance and support to learn, coaching and encouragement, and personal/professional development (stimulation, fulfillment).  Personal growth is a natural need for everyone and this is one of the win-win ideal opportunities you can offer – they learn and grow, feel valued and make a difference in the company and you gain time for other things, support when you need it in future and respect from your colleague!

Trust – what you say and do should match, work with integrity.  Do as I say is not the same as do as I do – how you behave is how you’ll be judged.  Set a good example, be a good role model for your team, your customers, your suppliers and your colleagues.

Mutual Respect – if you don’t like it they won’t like it either.   Treat them like adults not numbers;  find out their needs and try to meet them if you can realistically.   They actually won’t ask for more than they need.  Treat people equally – everyone has value and a role in your company.  Everyone should have equal rights (NB: not the same rights perhaps unless on equal pay, role, responsibilities etc) – but equal chance for training and fun, excitement and time off where appropriate.

You lose people when you let someone get away with things others can’t or give more to one than another (trust, respect).

Engagement from employees with your company values, objectives, culture and development.  They have the power to engage or withdraw their engagement; it’s OK to say we’ll replace them but you lose out – recruitment costs, training and settling in, skills and knowledge, connections and understanding of the job and team.

Know them, their needs, their family and interests – even a little!   Ask about their lives, share a little of yours – this builds bonds, this builds relationships and brings you and your company committed and loyal work from your employee, and they will go that extra mile when they can.

This also relates to the give and take of relationships.  If they NEED to leave for family issues or be off with children or others, illness or appointments they cannot fit in out of working hours, then this benefits you in the long run by them giving support when they need it; they will return the favour generally.

Emotional intelligence is the key here – the phrase indicates awareness of of emotions and needs, people and humanity and then how to implement this knowledge in the workplace and relationships generally.  Managers can have this and use it apparently but now really engage with people really – but if it works and you make the effort, it’s a start.

If people are struggling with something at work – find out what and resolve it as best you can, or help them to manage/resolve it.  It might be angry, resentful, tearful, distracted and anxious, or really quiet and un-involved, or not engaging with the team.   It might not be hard to resolve the issue – and being heard, accepted and understood even a little will help lots!  And achieve great things for them and for you and your customers.

See also: 

10 risks of avoiding employee engagement from Corporate Rewards