Tying the Knot on Employee EngagementJun 08, 2023
In addressing this profitability killer, we’ve worked through the real costs of disengaged employees, we’ve looked at how effective leadership can drive (read: earn) an increased level of engagement, and we just covered three relatively simple (but not necessarily quick or easy) things we can do to remove misery from the job and intentionally build active engagement. While I believe this provides a solid foundation to work from, I don’t think it’s everything we need to consider if we want to create an environment that perpetuates the increased discretionary effort that comes from higher engagement rather than it being a flash in the pan…
In a recent Leading At The Next Level lesson titled The 3 Components to Preparing Credible Leaders, Cindy shared some very specific points that apply to earning ongoing employee engagement just as much as they did to building credible leaders - but I suppose one could make a strong case that very few employees will ever engage if their leader isn’t credible…
The first point that grabbed me was her reference to John Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadership, specifically level one; leading (or at least attempting to) based only on a title. While someone carrying a supervisor or manager title may indeed possess the authority to force compliance, they will never achieve widespread engagement throughout their team from that authority alone. Even a slight increase in engagement will require them to move beyond leading based on their position.
Next, she shared something about The Platinum Rule that we looked at here as we addressed how poor communication kills profitability. Cindy said, “The Platinum Rule is never instead of The Golden Rule. It should stand on the shoulders of The Golden Rule!” I’ve explained the idea of The Platinum Rule to thousands of people over the years but I had never considered just how important it is that we apply it to build on rather than in place of… Just think how much stronger our connections can be with those we lead when we do, and how much more engagement that could earn!
Finally, she quoted David Augsberger as saying “Being heard is so close to being loved that, for the average person, the two are almost indistinguishable.” If we want to remove any chance of our team members feeling anonymous, we need to listen at that level! That’s how we learn what really makes them tick as opposed to just who they are. And that’s yet another way of earning the kind of engagement that brings an increase in discretionary effort and yields high individual performance!
If we can build these simple steps into our daily routines, we’ve made big steps in preventing profit from being killed by disengaged employees - but we can’t do it without setting clear expectations and holding our folks accountable so that’s the profitability killer we’ll work through next!