According to Gallup, only about 3 out of 10 of your employees are engaged at work. Take a look around – seven of your co-workers are either disinterested or frustrated. Of course, engagement impacts company, team, and personal performance – but also affects brand perception, marketplace dynamics, and your ability to compete. Companies must recognize engagement and come prepared to energize their employees for maximum impact, developing strategies to address and improve engagement. Here at The Kaleidoscope Group, we’ve identified three key concepts that are critical to helping your people be more engaged and your teams be more inclusive. Importantly, when you apply these concepts you can move from difficult, conceptual ideas like “improving engagement” and start initiating practices and processes that create engagement.
A common complaint is employees don’t really know how their work fits into the overall big picture. They might know how it works with their department or unit goals but they have no clue as to how it is integrated into the greater organization. To align all employees, have a full company meeting where all departments outline what they are doing, what resources they will need and what goals they expect to achieve.
Do you want greater participation, more excitement, and increase commitment? Just tell people what is expected of them and how it fits into the greater scheme of things and you will generate discussion, ideas, and solutions. People who understand the big picture begin to see their role in a totally different light. They understand why they are doing something and feel a deeper sense of purpose. They also begin to think about solutions beyond their scope of responsibilities. In short, there is an energizing quotient when it comes to communicating and aligning on vision, mission, and goals. Get your employees together to align with where the company is headed.
While employees want to know how their work fits into the overall picture, they also want to know what is expected of them individually. Most employees would say that they are flexible and willing to adjust as business circumstances change, but they do want to know what they are tasked to do and what projects they own. Sit each employee down after the company meeting and outline their responsibilities and goals. Simply outlining their assignments will keep them focused and energized.
If you’re thinking, “telling me my responsibilities doesn’t energize me,” you might not recognize the adverse impact when individuals are uninformed. When people are unclear or unsure of their responsibilities they worry more about policies, practices, procedures, and politics than they do about production. People cannot perform at their best if they are uncertain and thereby distracted by this uncertainty. Assigning responsibilities says here’s what we expect, here’s how you contribute to the team and this is the value you bring to the company. Assign projects to your staff so they know what role they have to play in the company’s overall success.
Now that you’ve had the big company gathering and the individual one-on-one one meeting, all you need to do is assemble your team. No, this is not the weekly staff meeting where people are waiting to report out and some are waiting just for this meeting to be over. This is the “strengthen my team” meeting. The meeting where you are intentional about team building. It is great that your employees know what they are responsible for but having ownership doesn’t mean that person does all the work. They will need some help and it is your job to assemble the team. Bring them together physically and emotionally.
Team exercises vary from things you can do at the office to things you must do offsite, but whatever you choose, commit to it! Be enthusiastic and your team will follow your lead. If you appear lukewarm or unsure, you can bet your team will approach this cautiously versus fervently. The exercises should be designed to build trust and foster interdependence. The impact will be improved communication, increased innovation, better teamwork, and greater performance. Assemble the team to assemble a team.
Align, Assign, Assemble. Align on the company direction, assign specific duties and responsibilities and assemble all the players to create an interdependent, highly functioning, inclusive team. This recipe is a powerful way to excite, engage and enhance your employees.