A recent Gallup poll on the “State of the American Workplace” indicates that employees are increasingly stating that they are not engaged in their work.
What exactly is employee engagement? It is defined as: “A heightened emotional and intellectual connection that an employee has for his/her job, organization, manager, or coworkers that, in turn, influences him/her to apply additional discretionary effort to his/her work.”
At BCN we hear from business owners that their biggest concern is related to their employees. Are you working with your team to engage your employees? Are you getting the level of productivity you want and, more importantly, need?
“Leaders get paid for achieving results or getting things done through the combined effort of their team,” said human resources consultant Chris Ruisi in a recent article. Ruisi is an executive coach and author of “Step Up and Play Big.”
“Unfortunately, you cannot will or order improved team performance,” he said. “Yet, some would-be leaders think that they can because of their title, size, or office location. To boost your team’s performance requires work, and sometimes it’s hard and frustrating work. It becomes easier when you have a plan or path to follow.”
Ruisi’s five steps will help you get on the path to boost your team’s performance:
- Always set a minimum level of performance and refuse to accept anything below it. Make certain everyone knows and understands what this minimum is, and set expectations and hold people accountable to meet them. This can be a positive and motivating experience for your team if you do it right. People on your team, really want some structure, and want to be led and not managed. Setting expectations and accountability standards allows you to do just that–lead.
- Invest the time needed to train your team properly so that they have a clear understanding of what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and why it needs to be done. When people understand the “why” of their role and how it fits in, it gives them a sense of purpose. When people have a clear sense of purpose, they perform at a higher level on a more consistent basis. Make sure that your training includes educating your team on the standards for being proficient in their job.
- Make certain that your team understand the consequences of their performance when they meet or exceed your expectations, as well as when performance falls below your standards. This will also help them understand the “why” better.
- Recognize good performance as soon as possible after it occurs. We spend too much time pointing out errors and mistakes. While corrections need to be made, spend the same amount of time acknowledging a job well done. When you do this, you are encouraging the team member to do the right thing again. Why? We all like positive reinforcement and recognition.
- Spend the time getting to know each of your team members and listen to both their concerns and suggestions. This will again demonstrate to them who you are and how you lead—adding to the level of trust. It’s important that you be sincere and genuine in this effort. If you just go through the motions, people will see through it and lose trust in you. Without the trust of your team, you cannot be an effective leader.”
To review Ruisi’s 5 steps let’s identify some things you can do to strengthen your team through a collaborative effort with BCN Service (BCN suggestions are in bold font):
- “Set minimum levels of performance and refuse to accept anything below it…” – Contact your partnership manager to discuss developing job descriptions and performance reviews to help establish minimum levels of performance.
- “Invest the time needed to to train your team properly…” Review with the BCN HR department the BCN Learning Management System (LMS) online training courses to strengthen your management team’s skill sets and capabilities.
- “Make certain your team understands the consequences of their performance…” This is an area where BCN can assist you in developing and executing performance reviews. We can assist in both managerial reviews and training your managers to do reviews of their team members.
- “Recognize good performance as soon as possible after it occurs…” This should be a goal for every management level. BCN’s LMS online training modules can help you train your managers develop this culture.
- “Spend time getting to know each of your team members…” Some things only you can do, but as your business partner, BCN’s experts will share our observations of, and experiences with, your staff. It may be helpful for you to get an outside perspective.
BCN has many resources that can assist you in developing your leadership team and creating opportunities for improving your staff’s productivity. There is no simple plan to automatically accomplish this; it will be a process for improvement for long-term gains.
Contact your partnership manager at BCN’s Human Resource Department at 1-800-891-9911 to discuss coaching and training opportunities, visit our Contact Us page. We’re here to help you.
Jeff Walsh, Partnership Manager