You can’t swing a dead cat in a bookstore these days without hitting a book touting the importance of your employees feeling fulfilled and satisfied on the job, full of catchy ways to engage your people with all the bells and whistles…blah, blah, blah. Fact is, most companies I come across know this and do their best to hire the right people, train them properly and support accordingly.
So why then do companies often struggle with the engagement thing?
It’s not any one thing per se, but can be summed up in the old business adage that “Nothing fails like success.” In this example, it means that the ‘soft stuff’ easily gets caught up in the busy work and we lose track of the ‘ments’…enjoyment, enlightenment, fulfillment and contentment. But there is a simple way to do this work while ensuring all the ‘ments’ are covered, especially when everyone is busy. Here are a few tips on how:
- Define the ‘Mission’ – Take the time to define where your business needs to be in this fiscal year; financially and its position within the marketplace AND TELL THEM! Your A-Players want to know and be challenged, so hit them with your BHAG.
- Ask Your A-Players How? – It’s your best employees that will take you there, so ask them how to best accomplish this Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Let them determine the tactics and resources needed to accomplish the mission (with your approval of course).
- Talk About It…A Lot – What you talk about day-to-day is what gets done. So focus your meetings (group and 1-1) around this conversation and in doing so, you’ll remove most or all distractions. Remember, a focused team is a successful one.
- Make It Safe – To achieve new heights in business, you need to try new things. Therefore, encourage risk by creating an environment where it’s OK to take a chance and discuss it. Decisions are rarely 100% wrong so identify the percentage that’s missing the mark and just correct that.
- Celebrate Milestones – Be sure to take stock monthly, or at the quarter poles, letting your team know when things are going good, not just bad. Progress during the in-between is sometimes slow and can feel as if you’re slogging through mud, so make sure they understand where you are at all times.
The great Peter Drucker once said that, “significance precedes momentum,” so make sure everyone is focused on just that, being significant in both their actions as well as their words. Then get ready to celebrate success at the end of the year with a very happy team.
This is just my experience and could be wrong. Let me know if you agree, disagree or have a different way of doing things, I’d love to hear from you.
The Biker Guy.