Leading via the link between motivation and engagement
Many studies, surveys and polls have concluded that employee engagement is key to building a successful business, leading change initiatives, and developing high-performance teams. In its eighth meta-analysis measuring the effects of employee engagement, Gallup found that:
“Work units in the top quartile in employee engagement outperformed bottom-quartile units by 10% on customer ratings, 22% in profitability, and 21% in productivity. Work units in the top quartile also saw significantly lower turnover (25% in high-turnover organizations, 65% in low-turnover organizations), shrinkage (28%), and absenteeism (37%) and fewer safety incidents (48%), patient safety incidents (41%), and quality defects (41%).”
Given so many positives of employee engagement, it is little wonder that organizations are continually finding ways to increase employee engagement.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement describes how people are committed to the work they do and the values and mission of the organization for whom they work. They are happy team players who are invested in their colleagues, their team, and their organization.
In other words, they are motivated to turn up, help others, and do the best work they can. However, engagement is not quite the same as motivation, but a complimentary quality – a key ingredient in employee engagement. For example, motivated employees feel that their work is meaningful, while engaged employees are emotionally committed to their work. Good leaders motivate their employees to be engaged.
How to engage employees with motivational tactics
Many motivational techniques will serve the simultaneous objectives of engaging employees and developing a high-performing team. Here are seven of the techniques used by successful managers and leaders.
1. Share the big picture to give them purpose
Share your vision with your employees, helping them to see how they fit into the achievement of that vision by providing tasks that help the team progress toward its goals. This will provide the purpose they need to engage with the big picture.
2. Motivate individuals to motivate the team
Each member of a team will have individual aspirations, goals and objectives. It is a manager’s responsibility to learn what makes their employees tick, and how to create the environment where the needs of individuals can be activated to improve the team.
Listen to ideas, learn from their experiences, and recycle into the team environment, showing how individual success can propel the team to greater teamwork. This personal and individual approach will help to incentivize employees with a clear understanding of the power of collaboration.
3. Give trust
Give trust to your employees, and show that you trust their abilities by handing over responsibility. This responsibility may be given through providing specific tasks that challenge, or by asking an employee to manage a project sub-team, or perhaps requesting that a team member act as chair in a team meeting. There are many opportunities to share responsibilities and give trust each day – these should be used.
4. Motivate with milestones
Lofty goals often remain unaccomplished because they seem so far away, and unachievable. This serves to demotivate and disengage. Focus instead on smaller, challenging but achievable milestones that will help individuals and teams progress. Reward achievement of each milestone, and reinforce how much nearer it takes the team to its final target.
5. Reward performance based upon feedback
Value performance and attitude by recording, measuring and rewarding feedback from clients, suppliers, colleagues and other stakeholders. Seek to reward the expected behaviors that help to drive teamwork and promote the organization.
6. Energize the team by exampling expected behaviors
Employees follow the lead of their managers and the organization’s leaders. An enthusiastic, energetic leader who exudes positivity toward work and the organization’s values and goals is more likely to create that energy within his or her team.
7. Communicate openly
Be transparent about company goals and progress. Hide nothing, so that there are no surprises. Allow people the opportunity to voice concerns and ask questions, and provide honest feedback. Always show respect in the communication process, and include team members in the decision-making process, valuing their contribution and helping them to understand their value to the organization.
Employee engagement and employee motivation work hand in hand to energise teams in the work they do and the goals of the organization. When team leaders, supervisors and managers employ effective motivation strategies, the team should become a more collaborative and cohesive unit, fixed on the achievement of individual and team goals. This level of engagement could transform a team’s results.
Contact us today, and discover how we could help your managers to redefine their own behaviors and embed the leadership techniques to build high-performing teams.