Engaging Voices: Tim Wright

Tim Wright, President and CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of Wright Results, Inc., helps organizations that want to improve performance through employee engagement.

Tim recently offered a series of blog posts at his blog, Culture to Engage, intended to help "when the going gets tough." Here's a selection of a few of his wise points for managers.

Don't Hide. As manager and leader you cannot hide from the infinite number of questions your employees have. We've all been conditioned by life in the business world to avoid admitting, "I don't know." But not having answers to all (or even very many) of those questions cannot send you into hiding. "Behind closed doors" behavior will only intensify uncertainty -- and so disengagement among your people.

Get smart. The more information you can actively acquire (about economic conditions, their effect on your industry, your market, your company, your company's credit, and your employees) the better.

You can sit and wait for the information to come to you, or you can pro-actively begin to gather the info. You may even invite your people to help gather the information. (That's engagement, right? And that action can help alleviate some of the anxiousness.)

Promote learning. Now is not the time to cut your training budget. Employees see that as an early sign that things are looking bad. And when you take away your commitment to their development, their improved ability to perform and to perform better, they are likely to see it as lack of caring.

Every employee satisfaction and employee engagement survey I've seen has emphasized the direct correlation between level of perceived caring by management and level of employee engagement. Consider specific training relevant to the current economic situation and that will benefit employees and your company now, especially.

Book 'em. Give everyone a book. Gifting the book demonstrates that you still believe in them and in what they can do for the company. And it's probably a minimum expense related to the engagement ROI it will produce.

Get spirited. I say "spirited" and I may mean "spiritual." I won't go so far as to recommend daily prayer services at your company, unless that's already part of your culture. I am suggesting now may be the perfect time to allow energy, spirit, spirituality into your workplace. If it provides your employees firmer footing, greater calm, better ability to stay focused, it's plenty worth it.

[Copyright 2009 by Tim Wright. All rights reserved]

Posted by Terrence Seamon, January 2009


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