Engagement is really about energy ? maximizing the amount, quality and direction of energy of the people who are a part of the organization.?? Of course, we want high, positive energy directed toward achieving the organization?s goals.
How do you four-C engagement in your organization?
Consider these four sources ? or four C?s ? of employee engagement:
CAPACITY:Design the workplace environment to maximize physical energy. Physical energy is your fuel source ? it affects your level of alertness, concentration, emotional management and overall constructive productivity.
? Ensure all employees get and take their breaks at work. Remind yourself that working through breaks actually decreases overall productivity.
? View downtime as productive time, rather than wasted ? or unproductive ? time. Optimally, breaks happen every 90 minutes.
? Encourage staff to re-fuel during their breaks. Help them to connect their work breaks with an opportunity to replenish and reignite physical energy.
? Look for opportunities to provide easy access to water and nutritional snacks. Consider this as an investment in your human performance potential. Just as you would provide maintenance for your capital equipment to ensure it?s longevity and effective functioning, look at this in much the same way.
? Provide physical challenges for staff members. Make it a game: for example advertise September as ?Take the Stairs Month?; or in June, let?s see how many kilometres we can clock by having everyone ?Walk around the Building? during breaks, etc.
? Lead the way by challenging yourself to do something different to increase your physical energy. And, talk about it every chance you get.
? Plan work events that add an opportunity for fun. Pot luck lunches, celebrations, etc.
? Remind yourself and the team that laughter energizes the brain and feeds the body with positive emotion. Start meetings with ?the funny story of the week?, etc.
CONNECTION:Create a climate of caring and trust. In order to fully engage the minds of your staff, you need to first engage their hearts.
? Clarify your purpose (Why do we exist?), values (What do we care about?), and vision (Where are we going?)
? Treat employees as valued performance partners in the organization. Provide personalized attention to the little things that help them feel they matter.
? Regularly ask ?What do you think?? Rather than having all of the answers, ask more questions.
? Build trust by talking about your successes and your mistakes. Celebrate success, and take ownership for mistakes and the subsequent learning from them.
? Manage your emotions. Tune in regularly, and remind yourself about the contagious nature of your emotions.
? Behave as you would like to encourage your team to behave. Remind yourself that your team really does ?follow the leader?.
? Understand what motivates your staff. Ask them, and then create the conditions for them to be motivated.
? Provide meaningful moments of recognition. Remember that recognition ? like beauty ? is in the eye of the beholder. It is an individual experience.
CAPABILITY: Encourage and enable the team to produce results. Often when we don?t see the results we expect, the reaons is that we have not been clear about those results and we have not helped facilitate the execution of those results.
? Ensure employees understand their performance standards, responsibilities, and priorities.
? Have regular discussions to continue to clarify your expectations and ensure that you are ?on the same page?.
? Encourage employees to build on their strengths and reach for a peak personal performance.
? Craft performance discussions that help people to identify their strengths and to be creative at finding ways to engage their strengths more often.
? Notice and acknowledge positive performance, and notice and re-direct negative performance.
? Remember that one of the surest ways to disengage your staff is to neglect to deal with negative performance.
? Provide clear, performance-specific feedback regularly. And, seek feedback from people around you that will help you to increase your performance.
? Remember that effective feedback is SMART:
S Specific: Direct your feedback to the specific behaviour you want to highlight. ?You?re great? is less specific and meaningful than ?When you took the initiative to add the table of contents to my report, it really helped me to be better organized for my meeting.? ?You?re lazy? is less specific and meaningful than ?You were 10 minutes late for work 3 times last week?.
M Measurable: Feedback is measurable when it targets a specific behaviour that the employee is capable of continuing or changing, and when the required action plan is clear to both parties.
A Attainable: Ask yourself if the employee has the tools, resources, training, or information in order to consistently perform to your standards.
R Relevant: You should be able to relate all feedback to a competency or a performance standard that has been communicated in advance.
T Timed: Feedback should be given as close to when the behaviour occurred as possible. If it?s a positive behaviour, you want to encourage the employee to continue it as soon as possible (otherwise they might not continue it, thinking it is not important or valued by you). If it is not positive, you want to extinguish the behaviour immediately and redirect the employee?s efforts in a more positive way.
COMMITMENT: Create opportunities for involvement. Look for ways in which you can engage your team in generating new ideas, solving ongoing problems, making important decisions, and interacting with key customers. Just ask them?they?ll tell you just how energizing ?real? involvement is!
? Engage in two-way dialogues with your staff. Staff meetings, round table discussions, one-on-one meetings.
? Provide information about the business.? Share the state of the business and the opportunities and challenges that are present.
? Ask ?What?s Good??? Ask positive questions to direct energy toward what is working in the organization.
? Regularly inquire about how to continue to excel.? Challenge yourself and your team to continually look for ways to move the business forward.
? Let go and let the team make decisions, with your guidance.? Vary your leadership style to the situation.
? Allow the team to own the decision from design to implementation.? Reinforce their partnership in the organization?s success.
? View each staff member as a long term resource for the organization.? Recruit purposefully, and choose positive beliefs and expectations of each staff member.
? Look for candidates for organizational succession plans.? Identify employees for key organizational positions, and provide training and development opportunities to facilitate their success.
Deri Latimer, B. Mgt., CSP, is an expert in possibilities for people! She is one of the top 10% of speakers globally who hold the designation of Certified Speaking Professional, the speaking profession?s measure of excellence in professional platform skill. Deri combines a Business degree in Human Resources with experience from business sectors including health care, manufacturing, education, agriculture, government, mining, transportation, tourism, and professional services. Deri helps individuals and organizations optimize their performance by managing their energy; applying the latest research and practice in positive psychology, appreciative inquiry, emotional intelligence, and employee engagement.