Are you wondering what you can do about disengaged and unhappy employees? Good news! You’re not alone: 87 percent of organisations across the world cite company culture and employee engagement as their top challenges. The bad news is, with more than 71% of employees across the world not fully engaged, it can feel like something of an uphill battle when you’re trying to make a difference.
Fortunately, one of the first things that you can do is very simple (if a little uncomfortable): Start by looking at yourself as a leader, and ask a few probing questions…
So here goes:
- Do you think you’re a good listener?
A lot of us believe ourselves to be GREAT listeners, when in fact we are just good at hearing what people are saying to us, then responding in a vaguely appropriate manner whilst simultaneously splitting our attention between five other things.
‘But that means I’m good at multi-tasking!’ I hear you say. Not quite. It means that your employees are trying to communicate with you, and you are not giving them the response or thought that they really need. Next time someone comes to talk to you, try to focus on what they are saying, and think before you respond; they will feel more valued, and you will have a better idea of what is going on around you!
- Are you in control, or just controlling?
Delegation. Everyone shouts about this, time and time again, but have you ever truly taken it in? Try to remember that you have employed your people for their various talents, and these are more than likely going to be talents that you do not possess yourself; at least not to the same degree that they have trained for.
Micromanaging your employees will only irritate them and cause you more hassle. Let your teams do their jobs, and have a little faith. With more autonomy, you will be astounded at what they can do.
- How often do you say thank you?
Gratitude costs nothing – A cliché perhaps, but like a lot of clichés, it is true. Even if your character is such that you do not need reminding that your efforts are noticed, remember that there will be many in your workforce who do. When you notice that an employee has stayed late to finish a project, make sure that you say thank you. When someone does an amazing job, reward them with a little gratitude. It will go a very long way!
In summary, we’re talking about having a little self awareness. Whilst it can be difficult to look inwardly and find certain truths about ourselves that we would rather ignore, even the smallest of revelations can have a positive impact on how you engage with your employees, which in turn will benefit the whole organisation!
What do you think about these points? We’d love to know if there are other questions that should be asked, so why don’t you let us know your thoughts in the comments below?
Time to reflect!