What the Passion Powered Leadership Formula Can do for Team Engagement
When I ask what is most troubling, I hear that “some team members are disengaged or unmotivated to do the work requiring extra time I simply don’t have.” I have also heard “I can’t hold their hands every step of the way” or “I have a lot on my plate which limits me to be out there giving them support.” Do these statements sound familiar to you or a leader you know?
Many leadership challenges that I have addressed as a coach or consultant fall within one or more of the elements found in my Passion Powered Leadership Formula for Success: Passionate Leaders + Powerful Connections + Productive Teams = Profitable Results. While there is no silver bullet to team engagement, there are simple yet powerful leadership practices that cost nothing to implement and can produce immediate improvements in performance.
Great leadership begins with a genuine passion and love (yes, I said it…. love) for the people on your team, love for yourself as a leader, and love for what you do as a leader. A passionate leader lights up a room, infuses energy in others, and inspires people to get involved with pride, accountability, and ownership. How are your actions inspiring passion? Passionate engagement is contagious, and it begins with you, the leader.
How do you show up every morning at work? Are your morning greetings hurried, frazzled, or genuinely focused on the other person? Are you wearing a smile and letting others know you care? I love Teddy Roosevelt’s quote, “no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” Passion changes everything. When nearly 70% of today’s workforce reports being uninspired at work, it’s clearly time for things to change.
According to the 2014 Trends in Global Employee Engagement report by Aon Hewitt, leaders hold the “golden” key to engagement above all the top drivers and most specifically through their interactions with others. Additionally, Gallup’s State of the American Manager (2015) report states that “managers account for 70% of variance in employee engagement. The power to raise the levels of engagement is within you! Engagement happens with one person at a time. What meaningful conversations are you having with your team…beyond the smiles, morning greetings, and delegations?
Employees want to know and feel that what they do for you daily really matters to you, the team, and the organization. Show them; tell them. Share a story that on a lesson you learned that says it’s okay to be human and no one is perfect. Make the time and schedule one-on-one meetings with your team members. Make it a priority to go beyond the tasks, to-do lists, and financials. You will reap the rewards for a little investment of time.
Increasing productivity isn’t always about Lean Six Sigma processes or the latest technology tools. What’s even simpler and goes beyond what you can expect is to appreciate each person sincerely. The one incredibly simple leader action is often missed and can save you millions in lost productivity and turnover. While money is important, it isn’t always the number one motivator for employees. Learn what matters to each team member as you practice powerful connections and communication.
Then use that information to motivate and reward them for doing better, working faster, or catching errors. According to the US Department of Labor, 64% of American workers leave their jobs because they don’t feel appreciated. Just saying thank you isn’t enough sometimes. Take it up a notch. The old saying “catch them doing something right” still holds true. Focus on the job well done AND express the value he/she brings to the team as a person.
Profitable results may not always show up on a business ledger immediately. A little investment and time into practicing key leadership behaviors produce amazing results in financial numbers and in substantial human interaction factors. When a client received negative feedback from a 360-degree feedback process saying his team felt he was too arrogant, a few simple behaviors shifted that perspective and produced amazing results after six months of behavior change.
All he committed to doing was three simple things;
1. Maintain eye contact when speaking with staff,
2. Greet each person using their name in the morning,
3. Listening before offering his opinion or directive. My client identified five team members to support him in making these behavior changes.
We surveyed and interviewed each team member to assess progress, determine what’s working, or what needs to change or improve. Positive profitable results when measured qualitatively as well as quantitatively, can result in amazing progress for leaders. My client made simple but significant changes that resulted in better relationships, more leadership presence, higher front shop sales, and overall wellbeing.
His intention did not match the outcome. With some coaching and team support, he was able to bring a passion powered leadership approach to all aspects of his personal and professional life.