Employee Engagement Keys: Being A Better Boss

Employee Engagement Keys: Being A Better Boss

Are You Listening to Your Employees? – How to Deepen Relationships and Get Results “Being heard, is so close to being loved, that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” ~David Augsburger Are you listening to your employees? According to a 2012 study by John Izzo, author of the book Stepping Up: How Taking Responsibility Changes Everything, the top reason employees don’t take initiative at work is because managers don’t listen to their opinions before making decisions. Employees want to know you’re listening and care about their beliefs regarding the direction of the company. Bosses who listen are likely to experience more employee engagement and see their employees looking for ways to make the business better. Efforts will improve, customer relationships will prosper, and new ideas will flow more freely. Here are 5 ways you can better listen to your employees: Stop being the “boss” – Yes, you’re still the person in charge, but you need to approach your relationships with employees on an even level. Listen as if you’re having a conversation with your business partner. Be Present – Don’t live through email and the phone. Get up and talk to your employees, and have meaningful conversations. Your discussions don’t even have to be fully work-related. Remember, you’re trying to deepen your relationships. This is the heart of genuine employee engagement. Consistency Counts – Your employees need to feel comfortable. Friday afternoon fire drills and emergency meetings add to discomfort and foster distrust. If you have business concerns, give employees time to hear and absorb problems and allow opportunity for discussion. Monitor Body Language – Everyone has their...
For Better Employee Retention, Foster Work Friendships

For Better Employee Retention, Foster Work Friendships

Got Friends? They Matter More Than You May Know Friends make our brains work better. A 2010 study by Harvard graduate student Fenna Krienen indicated the brain’s frontal midline responds more positively to interactions with friends than people we don’t know. We’re happier, more connected and sharper when we have friends.   Great news, obviously, on a social level, but what does that mean in the business world?   You don’t need a Harvard study to tell you that business often gets done based on relationships. And as most people know by now, referrals are your best source of recruitment leads. It’s not a stretch to think the greater number of friends you have, the bigger your opportunities for success—and goes for your team, too. Another classic study indicated strong high school friendships impacted earnings potential. Employee engagement statistics have shown a steady decline for years. Stress levels are on the rise. Friends at work help mitigate those trends and positively impact productivity. Employees are more likely to be invested in their job – to be committed toward company success – if they have strong friendships.   Want to help your team make friends at work? Try this: Be Open – Look for opportunities to talk with employees and learn about who they are. Grab lunch or coffee with two or more of them. Give them the chance to know one another outside of the office. (This is NOT matchmaking, but team building.) Be Gregarious – Talking business is good, but let your co-workers get a sense of what you’re all about on a personal level. Be a model...
How To Up Employee Engagement

How To Up Employee Engagement

This post was inspired by the NFL Draft. For those who don’t follow football, the 32 teams in the league take turns picking former college players, securing their rights with the hopes they’ll improve their squads. In total more than 250 players are drafted over the course of seven rounds. While first and second round picks are highly touted and expected to make an immediate impact on their team, what ultimately makes a team’s draft a success is those later round picks. Team general managers are often graded by how well they uncover those hidden gems in rounds 3 through 7. For example, New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, winner of three Super Bowls, is a former sixth round pick. The same strategies applied in the NFL can be applied to your team. While you have people on your staff with titles like manager and leader who are crucial to your company’s success, you likely have employees with more mundane titles who are equally, if not more, important. They’re the ones who carry the influence. About half of all first round NFL picks – the ones tabbed to be leaders – are busts. But every team has those mid-round selections that go on to be stars. You need to find and nurture those team members. Here’s how: Issue Challenges – Put out a request to your staff and see who steps up. On a level playing field, you’re bound to see some of those unheralded employees make an impression. Open the Door – Or as Harvey Mackay says in Inc, “reinstate the good ol’ suggestion box.” Put out a...