The classic image of a common vision and purpose is the beauty of geese flying in formation. In business, when we are in a supportive environment, our teams have the potential to be actively engaged and adopt the organisation's vision and purpose. This will clearly impact the bottom line.
An interesting question is how many UK employees are actively engaged. Surveys suggest that this figure is extremely low. However these engaged people are more productive, have a real sense of belonging and will actively find solutions to challenges.
The majority of employees are likely to be neutral - neither engaged nor disengaged. They are turning up to work and doing their job. But without a strong sense of engagement, they could easily leave if another job is more appealing.
What if, given the right environment and support, this group could be actively working towards the goals of the business? With a little time and effort, you could turn things around.
What you need are the three Cs: communicate, collaborate, celebrate.
There is an increasing variety of communication and collaboration tools available to teams. Many are time-saving, such as texts, emails or conference calls. However, having an 'old fashioned' face-to-face chat with someone over a cup of coffee is a wonderful way to connect.
In one of my earlier roles, I had a boss - Alex. We would review progress from the previous week, and look at goals for the coming week. He would always end by asking; 'Karen, what do you need from me to reach your goals this week?' It encouraged me to give him and the team my best.
Schedule a one-on-one conversation with everyone who reports directly to you. Develop an interest in them as a person and build rapport. Show empathy if they are dealing with personal issues. You can use the time to review progress from the prior week, and review priorities for the current week.
By maintaining this sense of connection, your team is more likely to expend less energy and complete projects more quickly. This again translates to bottom-line financial benefits.
Do you recall when a colleague or boss listened to your suggestions and took on board your ideas? It's a great feeling when your recommendations are considered and even implemented.
Effective collaboration comes from each team member feeling as though they are an integral part of the success of the organisation.
Develop a listening culture. Brainstorming with your teams will ensure a high level of collaboration. When you encourage 'idea sharing', you empower employees to think outside the box to generate new products and services for your organisation.
They are also best equipped to come up with improvements to working practices, so they can be more efficient and effective.
When we are acknowledged and appreciated, we are more likely to help and co-operate with other team members.
Don't wait until the end of project or a performance review. Celebrate immediately and frequently. These moments of thanks are informal, real-time exchanges of social praise and feedback, performed by employees and leaders alike.
Being acknowledged, even with micro-recognition, on a frequent basis triggers our intrinsic motivation and inspires us to work better, harder and more efficiently.
Deliver your praise by: (1) saying thank you, (2) specifically mentioning what they did that's worthy of praise, and (3) explaining how it is in line with the company's vision and goals.
The two simple words 'thank you' have an immediate impact. Saying it in front of others will magnify its impact.
Business growth and employee engagement go together. By using the three Cs as the foundation of communication, you will have a fully engaged team, flying in formation and helping you build your brand and achieve your business goals.
Sponsored post. Copyright © 2018 Karen O'Donnell, Toastmasters International