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Six Great Ways Leaders Can Increase Employee Engagement

It’s actually more achievable than you might think. Here are six things employees desire from their leaders that, if implemented properly, will stimulate powerful engagement among your teams...

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Six Great Ways Leaders Can Increase Employee Engagement

By Platinum Speakers

"It's about getting the best people, retaining them, nurturing a creative environment & helping to find a way to innovate." 
Marissa Mayer, CEO Yahoo!

More than ever businesses are feeling the pressure to maximize return with fewer resources. This in turn means employees are being asked to increase their efficiencies, teamwork and engagement. While employee engagement is pivotal to success and succession planning for all businesses. By identifying employee strengths, potential and areas of interest, leaders can collaboratively impact significant revenue growth and ROI, not to mention developing a team of employees who are tremendously valuable, have a greater propensity to accelerated advancement and become the best leaders in their field. And what business doesn’t want that?

Sound like pie in the sky thinking? It’s actually more achievable than you might think. Here are six things employees desire from their leaders that, if implemented properly, will stimulate great engagement among your teams:

1. Encourage authenticity and self-expression
By expecting employees to behave how you do rather than encouraging them to be their authentic selves, leaders unwittingly create tension, stifle creativity and abstract thinking.
Leaders who also don’t take time to spend time and engage with their employees, promotes a sense among teams that leaders don’t care, about them, their career prospects or potential future opportunities. This can cause employees to shut down, distrust or become bitter about you as a leader, their position and the business.
Encouraging employees toward natural expression and authenticity removes limitations and constraints, opening up a wealth of opportunity, creative thinking and natural entrepreneurialism, thus stimulating engagement.

2. Identify strengths and positive capabilities
Instead of being critical of what employees aren’t doing right, focus on identifying what they’re naturally gravitating towards and build on that. Put their job description to the side and focus on the areas your employees most enjoy. You can then develop a plan that utilizes their most positive capabilities to create better outcomes.

Expanding your leadership lens to what matters most to your employees will allow them to flourish. Everyone wants to enjoy their work, so look beyond the obvious and allow employees to contribute to the business in ways that generate the results you’re after, while giving them the flexibility to navigate and explore how they can best add value.

3. Empower to discover potential
Stop micro-managing and start empowering. Micro-managing is a sure fire way to get employees to disengage. They have no reason to engage when you’re doing it all for them. Take a step back, trust the people you have in your employ and give them power so you can both discover their full potential.

Whilst empowering employees sounds simple, it does require a leader to let go, step back and observe. It demands a confident leader that is wiling to allow their employees to fail, then help them pick up the pieces and rebound. Employees want to feel trusted and valued for the independent decisions they can make and the impact they can create. By putting them in situations that will build their confidence and strengthen their self-trust, they will feel empowered to explore endless possibilities.

4. Put them in a position of influence
Inspiring engagement is not only about employees gravitating towards their leaders, but how others gravitate toward them. Allowing your employees to discover their own potential and acting on it will give you the opportunity to watch how they lead and collaborate with others.

The most engaged employees are those with leaders who have confidence in them and their abilities; who trust that they can be depended on to deliver. Employees are most engaged when they feel a sense of responsibility towards their leaders and the example their performance sets for others. When places in roles of influence and responsibility, this process is even further accelerated.

5. Share your success and be transparent
Make sure you share your successes and vulnerabilities. This transparency builds trust, a sense of teamwork and collaboration. Employees don’t need leaders that insist on being right or seen as perfect. They want leaders that open themselves up enough to share their journey with them. Genuine collaboration drives engagement and creates an environment of significance for everyone.

6. Be consistent and build trust
First, don’t gossip. What’s to say your team won’t think you gossip about them when they’re not in the room, if you gossip about others in front of them?

Second, let your team know that they can rely on you and that you have their best interests at heart. Trusting that you have no hidden agenda and will go in to bat for them is a key to bringing out the best in your employees. If they know that they are in a safe place to be themselves, to express their ideas with opportunity for career advancement, you are in an ideal position to instill long lasting engagement within your team and together, make serious impact in your business.

To learn more about increasing employee engagement in your business, take a look at some of our outstanding Leadership Speakers.

"When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute." Simon Sinek, author and founder of Sinek Partners