Guest Blog Post From Ines O’Donovan
Everybody is talking about employee engagement nowadays. But why are only 25 to 33% of employees engaged? How can we as leaders get our employees out of a static, frustrating and unproductive state to be the energized ambassadors of our companies who are eager to achieve top results?
Unfortunately leaders are often their own biggest enemy even though they might have the best intentions. Only 42% of employees think that their leaders inspire and engage them. So what is it that leaders do that sabotages their employees’ engagement?
Leaders don’t talk enough to their employees. It is surprising how rarely many leaders actually talk to individual employees. How can we understand what is going on for the employee, their personal goals and desires and their current situation, if we don’t talk to them? This issue gets even bigger when parts of the team or the whole team are working virtually where they can’t bump into each other at a coffee machine.
Leaders don’t help their employees to make sense of decisions from top management. For any employee it is important to understand why they are doing their job and how their work contributes to the success of a team or company. If not they will not be motivated. Who, after all, wants to engage for something that doesn’t seem to have any value?
Leaders don’t trust their employees to be effective brand ambassadors. All leaders talk about their employees being an important ambassador for the company. But why then do we restrict the employees’ access to and use of for instance social media? There are of course some disgruntled employees who voice their opinion openly. But they do that anyway. So let’s engage them so that they are proud to work in our teams and companies.
Leaders don’t take the time to help employees with their personal and professional development. The times of job security are over and the employees are very much aware of that. So what has become important to them now is career security and for that constant development is necessary. If we as leaders actually put some time into this by mentoring and coaching our employees, by helping them to find the ideal career path etc. we might be spending more time now but we will be saving it and much more later on.
Leaders don’t pay attention to the employees’ health and well-being. Statistics show that employees are more and more stressed, suffer from illnesses or simply don’t have any energy anymore. It is our teams’ and companies’ innovativeness, performance and customer satisfaction that suffer as a result. If we as leaders don’t watch the health and well-being of our employees, their workloads and their working hours, the employees simply don’t have the brain power and energy to achieve great results.
If you have enjoyed this article and want to learn more join Ines O’Donovan for the Leader’s Employee Engagement Conference 2012 https://ow.ly/bioCF
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.
I find that asking questions and taking a moment or two, as a higher up, to talk to employees can go a long way. Especially with a few words of encouragement.Reply