A recent Gallup poll shows something many of us already suspected: people are not terribly enthusiastic about their work.
In a measure of employee engagement–that is, involvement, enthusiasm, and commitment–51 percent were described as “not engaged” while another 17 percent were “actively disengaged.”
If those numbers seem to reflect your team, you probably don’t need me to tell you that you’ve got a big problem.
So what can you do to get your people more engaged at work? A lot of the usual methods–extravagant raises, bonuses, incentive trips–involve huge levels of spending. And even if you had that kind of money, those things still don’t get people excited and engaged in their work.
Why not try one of these novel approaches instead?
1. Empower people through collaboration. Whether you’re talking about work, leadership, or life, the most rewarding experiences are rarely a solo act. Life at its core about collaboration, and part of building a successful team is giving people the opportunity to come together and learn to care about and support each other. When they know that they–and you–are all in together, the scene is set for a culture of active collaboration boosts productivity and engagement.
2. Entrust people with more freedom. People feel secure when they know they can trust and be trusted. Trust gives us freedom, and freedom fosters creativity and innovation. When people don’t have to look over their shoulder or wonder if they’re good enough, they discover the freedom to do what they do and do it well. If you more engagement, establish policies and an atmosphere based on trust.
3. Focus on core values. Our values are our blueprint. They tell us how to be, how to act, how to think. At the bottom line, they tell us what drives us. If you want people who are driven, connect with the values that resonate with them. That doesn’t mean pandering but subordinating people’s feelings to their more enduring principles. A values-based workplace turns employees into advocates.
4. Create a compelling vision together. Success is not a destination but a road that we need to take. Chances are you didn’t go into the work you do with an ultimate goal of increasing third-quarter profits. What helps people excel is creating a compelling vision and working together to make it happen.
5. Find meaning in the work you do. As the old saying goes, the only inheritance we will leave that has eternal value is our influence. There are three fundamental concepts to remember when you’re trying to achieve meaning–hard work, persistence, and common sense. People who have those raw materials and a tie to a greater meaning can truly accomplish great things. And if you and your team can be engaged in what you do, the work will renew your passions, and your passions will fuel your work. It’s the best kind of loop to be stuck in. And it’s all grounded in shared meaning, the most powerful weapon we have.
The bottom line is this; to get people excited about their job– you have to learn what matters to them most, and share with them what matters to you most. Find common ground and establish an atmosphere of mutual respect and caring. Make the connections with and among your team members the most important thing every day in everything you do.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
THE LEADERSHIP GAP
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.