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Employee Engagement; do well or duck?

The fork in the road; Getting comfortable with the discomfort of doing the right thing.

one2one meetingAt some point in the career of all successful leaders there comes a fork in the road. To truly embrace employee engagement, or just keep your head down.

To the right is the darkness and mayhem of confronting the individual whose behaviour, attitudes and incompetence not only sucks the life blood out of a team; but probably the organisation as well. To the left lays the seductive bright light and warmth of business as usual.

Spending time with people that discomfort you; telling them things they do not want to hear, or disagree with, is not the task of choice for some team leaders. Team leader failure to have routine reviews condemns many team members to live in the half light of uncertainty and frustration; and ultimately disengagement with the organisation. Perhaps measure the level of disengagement with this tool?

But once the die is cast and employee performance is addressed, an amazing improvement seems to take place in the team; suddenly the leader has truly led; and done the right thing. People emulate this style and the organisation moves on to new levels of performance.

Therefore a key team leader skill to acquire is how to engage with team members; people who probably have different needs and wants to their team leader. Learning how to Plan, Persuade, Motivate, Review and above all Communicate with” people not like you”.

History has shown that the most effective way to understand, and be understood by people not like you is to spend time with them; preferably on a one to one basis. Better still create an individual structured regular meeting with all team members, that way no one thinks they are being “victimised“ by having a one off meeting with the “Boss.” Plan to make engagement a habit; not an event.

But like all plans the outcome is shaped by the execution, not the aspiration; plans often fail because the people tasked with their execution suffer fear of failure. All personal endeavours are shaped, by degree, with the need not to get it wrong; look foolish, or let anyone down; driven by a primeval fear of being excluded, exiled or simply ignored by others. So how can we help managers to become the best at employee engagement they can be; whilst maintaining their self esteem?

Mike Bennett
Founder & Principal Partner Broxburn Drive
We change Organisational Performance by improving Strategic Direction, Brand and Culture, Process and People.

  1. Do People shape the Numbers: or do Numbers shape the People?
  2. The Flight Plan: Rules for flying in formation.
  3. Team Leaders: Being the best they can be; and able to help others to be the best they can be.
  4. The Fork in the Road: Getting comfortable with the discomfort of doing the right thing.
  5. Team Leaders: Remaining fit for purpose and value adding now; and in the future.

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