How do you elevate your engagement?
I could almost taste it at Live2Lead in Eau Claire and central Wisconsin. People sharing what mattered to them and not just regurgitating the company mission, vision, and values that are tattooed on a wall.
Every day employees come into the workplace with what I will call baggage. It doesn’t matter what your title is or your ethnicity or your religion or your political beliefs. And workplace baggage seeps into our personal lives. Are you ignoring it in the workplace or engaging your employees to help them become the employees they want to be?
Workplace challenges in the last couple of years exacerbated our understanding of that. Our home lives and work lives became intricately and intimately intermingled. Pets and children showing up on Zoom calls. Dressing down even more in the office. Emotions and personality differences everywhere!
That has put additional stress on leadership. Plus, the statistics are showing that workers want meaningful engagement in the workplace. If they don’t get it, they “vote” with their feet and walk to the next best offer.
I recently read an article where a community was increasing their pay for their governmental employees. We all need money to pay for our basic needs and wants, but statistics again show that the issue of compensation isn’t necessarily driving the talent challenges.
COMPANY CULTURE & LEADERSHIP
I’m on a mission to revolutionize company culture and leadership. I firmly believe we need to focus on talent retention and offering meaningful engagement. If we retain our talent, they will attract talent and then increased productivity will follow.
Some leaders have that out of order!
That retention challenge is true with our front-line employees and executive leadership. A title doesn’t make someone a leader, yet throughout history, people have been promoted without the proper coaching or training to ensure success in any new role.
How often has the top salesperson been promoted to sales manager only to fail and then maybe even be fired? Selling isn’t leadership. How often has the best NBA player gone on to coach only to fail? A hard skill set doesn’t mean leadership skills are entrenched.
LEADERSHIP AS A PROCESS
Leadership is a process and consistency is essential. How many times have you been sent to a two-day off-site leadership training with a day of golf and then that’s it? Consistency trumps intensity. What are you doing on a consistent basis to personally grow and develop so you can support your employees? How are you developing your employees?
I’ve been blessed to work with some great companies who “get” leadership. They dive into leadership skills, soft skills, emotional intelligence, or what ever jargon you want to call it. They are intentional and that impacts their employees. They put resources, time and money, into their future and the future of the business.
Executive leadership sometimes doesn’t understand their front-line employees and supervisors. That’s because of the nature of reporting relationships and not because of anybody’s fault necessarily. Emotional intelligence in the workplace decreases as people move up the food chain, i.e., organizational ladder. It’s what those leaders do that is critical. The biggest gap in life is between what we know and what we do.
One business I work with and blocks out time to study their dysfunctions as a team. It is based off Patrick Lencioni’s book, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team. They realize it starts with them and they are looking forward to using the skills they are developing and passing it along throughout the workplace.
CULTURE TEAMS BRING ENGAGEMENT
Other businesses I have worked with have created Culture Teams. The executives trusted their employees enough to let them put together as a team to dive into their culture. They had lost the “family feel” through COVID, a building expansion, and abrupt change in leadership. They are now turning the corner with culture put into the employee’s hands.
It’s simple but not easy. I’ve used countless other tools both in my own leadership experiences and working with other companies.
What’s your next step? I know I can shift your problems to solutions.
If nothing changes, then nothing changes.