According to the recent Gallup State of the American Workforce Study – 33% of America’s workforce is engaged at work. That means about 70% of workers are looking for others jobs. As leaders, we greatly impact whether employees are engaged or not. People leave their bosses vs. their job. 75% of workers say the most stressful part of their job is their immediate supervisor.
To enhance engagement leaders must exemplify the following core competencies:
1.) Self Awareness: Self-awareness allows us to leverage our strengths. A self-aware leader understands what he / she is good at and works to leverage the strengths of others to mitigate their weaknesses. A leader that lacks awareness is driven mostly by ego and does not understand the impact of their behavior on others.
2.) Leading With Authority: An autocrat runs the business via their personality. The leader that leads through authority leads via relationship and process.
3.) Trust: To build trust a leader demonstrates vulnerability and owns their shortcomings. Trust is built through conversation. The opposite of trust is invulnerability. There are no apps or systems that can shortcut the importance of investing time with others to build trust.
4.) Building Autonomy: Autonomy allows us to feel that we are contributing to something that is important to us and we have the freedom to work within our strengths. A leader that micro-manages insists that his method is the only way to complete the task.
5.) Accountability: The absence of accountability is having low-standards. Accountability includes personal accountability, which is about seeking to control the controllable vs. looking through the window and blaming externalities as the problem.
6.) Invests Time: A relationship cannot be built without investing time in others. As you evaluate the time you have spent with your team consider the concept of the “Drive-by” vs. “Sit-Down” The ‘drive-by’ conversation happens quickly and can often be transactional. The ‘drive-by’ conversation is ok in the short-term, but is not as effective in building long-term trust abiding relationships.
The sit-down demonstrates to the other person that they have value. In our fast-moving culture one of the greatest gifts you can give to your team is your time. How much time in your 1:1s do you spend talking? If you are talking more than listening, you have made the time about yourself vs. their growth and development. The time you spend with your team drives engagement. I want to work hard for a company and a boss that invests time in me.
As you evaluate the 6 methods to improve engagement, where are you strong and where are you weak?