While so much money is being poured into employee recognition initiatives and other perks to keep people happy, what your employees really want is quite simple. And quite free.
More effective communication.
Don’t you find it just a bit ironic that we humans are supposed to have the most sophisticated communication of all animals, yet we neglect and abuse our communication so much that it becomes the biggest issue we have in all of our relationships?
I could ask you to take a look at the list of communication issues that prevent effective leadership (below), find the one or two things that you need to do to improve, and focus on that. And it might work, for a little while. But then you’d soon be back to your old habits and ways. Or you may not even attempt to do it at all.
So the question begs, we have a great tool that can produce enormously positive results, why don’t we use it properly?
It boils down to our underlying thoughts and beliefs. What do you really believe about your role as a leader, your highest value activities, and the impact it has on your people?
When you take a look at the communication issues that prevent effective leadership (below), ask yourself WHY.
Why are we not recognizing employee achievements? Why are we not giving clear directions? Why don’t we have time to meet with employees? Why are we refusing to talk to subordinates? Why would we take credit for others’ ideas? Why do we not offer constructive criticism? Why don’t we know our employee's names? Why are we refusing to talk to people on the phone or in person? Why don’t we ask about employees’ lives outside of work?
For many of us, the answer we give is “I don’t have enough time.”
Yet, there is proven return on investment (ROI) for leaders to engage in these activities and it really doesn’t take that much time.
Could there be other reasons besides time? Could our ego get in the way on occasion? Perhaps we don’t believe in the ROI of our highest value activities? Maybe our idea of leadership needs to change?
Self-reflection is paramount to leadership. When we discover what might hold us back, it frees us up to carry out these important leadership activities. For more on that topic, take a look at the 3 Things All Leaders Need to Do to Get the Best Results.
This. Is. It. This is exactly what your employees want. And this isn’t the only study that tells us this. There are many that support these same findings.
If you genuinely engage with your people, they will genuinely engage and produce the results you know them to be capable of! Can I repeat this sentence to convey its importance? You get what you give, leaders!!
If you ignore your employees, if you deny them, or you come across condescendingly, you will create the opposite - people with lackluster feelings about their day to day activities.
You can find more about employee engagement, specifically GRIT® in the workplace in my book, Leading with GRIT. Get it in kindle or hardcover now on Amazon: bit.ly/leadingwithgrit
Remember, everything is cause and effect. These are absolutely free techniques to increase employee engagement. Why not give it a shot?