“In teaching others, we teach ourselves.”
Employees are willing to listen to senior leaders and commit to and strive for business success. Organizations have a unique opportunity to reach out and engage all employees more fully in driving business results. Those that promote meaningful and systemic dialogue with their employees create a partnership for success.
According to a Gallup study a typical company employee engagement starts high and declines with tenure. However, throughout the employee relationship, there are engageable moments (onboarding and training, performance feedback, career discussions, etc.). Handling these moments well can help stop the decline.
It is not enough to communicate information about the Company to employees. It also matters who shares it. Employees, both current and new, want to hear from senior management. They want to hear about what is happening with the Company without being filtered through several management layers.
A senior manager who speaks openly and honestly about the organization increases the comfort level of employees. It’s essential to build credibility with employees, and with credibility comes trust. Trust is what moves the Company forward. This level of communication encourages mid-management to understand their role better.
The reality is that people care less about working for a company and much more about working for a compelling cause. Without purpose, employees are just putting in the time. A team without a goal is a team without passion. There might be short term results, but the employee will not have the heart to go the distance. Management must satisfy this basic need to give employees a compelling purpose.
This can be done by asking employees how their jobs relate to the team’s purpose. The following are some questions a manager might ask:
- How does our goal make you feel? (if we hear responses like proud, meaningful, connected, helpful, then we are on the right track)
- Does our purpose make you look at your job differently?
- Do our roles, procedures, resources, skills, and priorities support our ability to achieve our goal?
- What can you change or do differently to better support our goal?
- What can I change or do differently to better support our purpose?
Once employees see a clear connection between their role and their purpose, the next strategy is to help them stay focused on that purpose.
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