Have your team quit and forgotten to tell you?

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Have your team quit and forgotten to tell you?

Have your team quit and forgotten to tell you?

Of all the resources in business, the team working with you is the most valuable and the most complex to manage. When motivated, your team can take up Herculean tasks (like dealing with the challenges presented by Covid) and barely break a sweat. But, when things go wrong, it can be really difficult to get things done and it might feel like your team has checked out because they might well have. Motivation is a complex art and to sustain employee engagement through challenging times is just that… challenging! But it can be done and is being done! Let’s take some Key Steps and use the 4 C’s of employee engagement to…

‘be the difference that makes the difference.’

  1. Connect. The greater the connection between the team member and their manager, the greater the engagement. This relationship is key. That means, as a leader, you’ve got to take time to listen to your co-workers. You’ve got to listen to what’s on their minds and what’s in their hearts. You’ve got to make yourself available for that kind of dialogue if you ever expect to build a climate of trust that builds a climate of engagement. One way to do that is to ask “brave questions” and then just listen. Ask, “How am I doing as your leader? How could I be better? How supported and connected have you felt to me during this difficult time?” Remember that you can reread this point thinking about the leader you are in your family – the same principles apply. When you have a deep and trusting connection, then you can apply the next C and…
  2. Challenge. In other words, people are seldom fired up and fully engaged when they are not challenged to move out of their comfort zone. As diplomat James Bryant Conant noted, “Behold the turtle: He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.” Or as author Frederick Wilson said so well, “Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” Just keep in mind that they do need to be equipped, able and supported to make a success of the challenge. In other words, it is your responsibility to support your people to gain the skills to tackle new challenges and the encouragement to embrace change. Let them shadow other employees so they learn how other positions or jobs are completed.

    It is important to remember that Covid has been an enormous challenge in and of itself and many people are change fatigued. They might need you to go easy on challenges right now. It is also important to remember that there too are many people who are feeling isolated, stifled and bored with the monotony of lockdown. They are looking to be challenged! This is largely dependant on each persons unique circumstances and make-up. Many driver oriented personalities are crying out for more challenge right now. The key is to have connected sufficiently to guage what your people need and to continually

  3. Communicate. Not only does this mean making sure the vision and goals are so clear that anyone and everyone in the organisation could speak them back to you and know how his or her job is linked to the overall goals. This also means communicating through times of change and giving people feedback. Especially because many workers have found themselves working from home for the first time. Although job roles and responsibilities can make a difference, Gallup has found that remote workers can be highly engaged with their work. One key to ensuring this is frequent manager communication and feedback. Without it, it’s almost impossible to fully engage people. Anything less than continual constructive communication allows the grapevine to take over and it almost always kills off engagement.

    In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive business environment that’s been compounded by Covid, owners and managers frequently don’t take the time to let their employees know how they’re doing. You must remember, it’s only natural that your team want to know where they stand. Of course, we’d all like positive conversations and performance reviews, but even a negative performance review does a better job of maintaining morale than no review at all. When people have to guess where they stand, they usually imagine the worst things or the wrong things. If the first three C’s are the norm in your workplace (and home), you’ll have plenty of reasons to…

  4. Celebrate. One of the time-tested motivators of people is appreciation. People want to be seen, heard and recognised, even if they feign indifference to it. In fact, I know many people who have changed jobs, actually taking lower pay, so they could work in a place where they are appreciated and their accomplishments are acknowledged. Studies show that people who love their jobs, as well as husbands and wives who are happily married, feel recognised and appreciated for what they do and who they are. So, I encourage you to take every opportunity to celebrate and recognise people. Low-budget, informal recognition (like a handwritten thank you note) is just as important as larger, formal reward programmes.

    You can’t afford to skip this fourth element. When employees (and our loved ones) feel unrecognised or under celebrated, they disengage. They might act out, explode in anger, take credit where it isn’t due (to get the attention they crave) but will eventually withdraw. In today’s tough business environment, you can’t afford to have any disengaged employees… let alone a high percentage of your workforce. Engaged employees are the secret to productivity and profitability. Because the higher your employee morale, the higher your potential profitability.

What are three things that you can do to increase engagement in your team this coming week? Commit to doing them and…

“be the difference that makes the difference

: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.

Dr Sharon King Gabrielides

About Dr Sharon King Gabrielides

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 20 years’ experience in leadership and organisational development and transformation. She is a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner. She is also one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – it’s the Oscar of the speaking business.

Sharon’s PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that has been published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of Henley Business School and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. Sharon has become known for her practical approach, useful tools and genuinely caring manner. She is really looking forward to working with you and taking Key Steps to ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’


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