Most leaders are looking for ways to get their employees engaged and passionate about their jobs. When employees are engaged, customers are more satisfied and companies thrive. But it’s not easy to retain motivated employees, particularly as time goes on.
When looking to increase engagement across the corporation, more often than not, the problem isn’t as much with the employees as it is with the leadership. That’s right. Sometimes you have to turn the mirror around and face the fact that your lack of engagement is bringing your employees down.
As John Quincy Adams once said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”
Leader engagement will always mean more to a company than employee engagement. Leaders can inspire and work with team members to change their attitudes and actions. Passion is contagious, and employees will ride the wave if the leader makes the initial splash.
If you’re struggling to see engagement from individual employees, here are some actionable steps you can take personally.
Leaders who have begun to lose motivation and passion think in terms of scarcity. They imagine the things they can’t do and the boundaries that keep them from growing. As a result, their ideas are always on the smaller end of the spectrum.
Thinking big involves seeing the big picture and imagining your company as limitless. If you believe your company can achieve big things, you can drive yourself and your employees to that point. You’ll never fly if all you ever think about is walking.
Operate with Respect—and Know What That Means
Employees always work better when they know their employer respects them. If you don’t feel like your employee deserves that respect, consider the reasons. It could be that they’re not doing excellent work because they’re being giving subpar responsibilities. Oftentimes, respect can’t be earned until a challenge is overcome.
Always Be Clear and Fair
If you’re not offering clear direction and fair feedback, you can hardly blame your employees for falling behind. You might have an idea regarding employee responsibilities, but fail to communicate it clearly. As a result, the task is left incomplete or the results are unacceptable.
Nothing is worse for the work environment than poor instructions. It’s hard for employees to feel motivated for work when they’re confused and set up for failure. Make it a point to clearly communicate things and offer rewards and bonuses for those who excel.
Hold Yourself Accountable Too
Just because you’re in charge doesn’t mean you’re allowed special treatment. You should be held accountable for your actions just as much as everyone else in the office. When you make a mistake, own up to it and take steps to make it right.
Another part of being a great leader is accepting responsibility when someone on your team makes a mistake. You shouldn’t pass the buck and explain why it wasn’t your fault. Accepting feedback and taking the team’s biggest hits will increase the respect your employees have for you.
Engagement revolves more around leadership than you might think. Teaching employees to find satisfaction in their jobs might seem like something out of your control, but you actually hold the reigns to the entire operation. Before blaming your employees for poor productivity, look to yourself for improvement.
Author: Anna Johansson Anna is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant from Olympia, WA. A columnist for Entrepreneur.com, HuffingtonPost.com and more, Anna specialises in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.