Throughout 2010, as I delivered management training for my clients, I found that the topic of employee engagement kept surfacing.
As we are learning from recent research, the more engaged a workforce, the higher the productivity and profitability of the company. It also says that among the factors that most influence employee engagement, the quality and effectiveness of managers is foremost.
So let's revisit the question: What must managers do to become Engaging Leaders?
Here are ten practices that can make a big difference for you and your organization:
1 and 2 - Align & Appreciate: These two practices are about Focus. By Aligning, the Engaging Leader gets everyone focused on where the company is going (Goals, Objectives and Plans) and how each person can play a part (Roles) in getting it there. By Appreciating, the Engaging Leader gets to know each person on his or her team, especially their talents, their strengths, their aspirations, and their life concerns.
3 and 4 - Listen & Learn: These two practices illustrate the Leading By Example principle. By Listening, the Engaging Leader adopts an open posture, receptive to all points of view, even those that are different from his or her own. By Learning, the Engaging Leader continues to grow, replenishing and revitalizing his or her own sources of creativity.
5 and 6 - Involve & Improve: These two practices tap into the human yearning for Purpose and the desire to Participate and Grow. By Involving, the Engaging Leader treats each person like a partner in the business and asks "What do you think?" By Improving, the Engaging Leader uses collaboration and teamwork to find better ways to do things, solutions to operating problems, and even innovations that can lead to breakthroughs for the company.
7 and 8 - Communicate & Coach: These two practices, along with the next two, are the keys to High Performance. By Communicating, the Engaging Leader establishes a clear channel of dialogue with each member of the team so that information and ideas flow back and forth continuously, resulting in Understanding and Commitment. By Coaching, the Engaging Leader gives on-going performance feedback to each of his or her players, supporting and encouraging them to develop and do their very best.
9 and 10 - Energize & Empower: These two practices replace the old "Command and Control" model of leadership with a new model based on motivation and trust. By Energizing, the Engaging Leader activates the excitement of Mission, tapping into the human desire for autonomy, for self-determination, and for self-mastery. By Empowering, the Engaging leader galvanizes and authorizes the team to Execute, to decide how best to get to where its going, trusting that a well-trained team will use its resources wisely to reach a high quality decision.
By doing these ten practices consistently and continuously, the Engaging Leader does what it takes to create and sustain a High Engagement Culture.
Start the new year right by resolving to become a more engaging leader in 2011.
This post was written by Terrence Seamon on January 1, 2011. For more leadership and employee engagement ideas, check out Terry’s website Facilitation Solutions and invite him into your organization as a speaker.