Seven Effective Ways Great Leaders Boost Employee Engagement
How do great leaders boost the engagement of their employees and organization? How can you boost employee engagement in such a way your organization do thrive? Are there tips and tricks used by true effective leaders that boost employee engagement?
Are you a manager struggling to motivate employees at the workplace? Good news, you’re not alone!
WarningThere’s lots of managers who have the same problem, for all sorts of reasons. Still, there are ample ways to get the fire burning within your employees again.
When leadership shares vision, optimism, and purpose-driven goals, both motivation and commitment from employees is ensured.
During times of change, no actions are more powerful than when leaders take the time to communicate and build relationships with their team.
As a leader, you can make their day or break their day.
Other than the decisions individuals make on their own about liking their work, you are the most powerful factor in building employee motivation and positive morale.
Engagement among teams is vital. What are you doing to motivate your employees?
WarningMotivated employees make all the difference. Your team will never live up to their full potential if they don’t feel motivated to do so.
Leaders need to inspire their employees not just to execute their jobs well, but to also find purpose within their roles.
Here are some ways leaders can better connect with their teams, encourage collaborative leadership, and inspire team members to do their very best work.
As the leader, it is your responsibility to provide the environment that enables your team members to feel challenged and engaged by their work.
Before you decide to clean house, remember that there are proven ways you can reignite that spark you once saw in your team. Here, we narrow down the 7 best tips to boost your employee engagement and elevate their performance to optimal levels.
Leaders Set The Tone
Leadership is a transfer of belief—and great leaders inspire their teams to believe they can succeed. As a leader, you are not just leading and managing people, but you are also leading and managing their beliefs.
Your employees will never be motivated if they don’t feel that you are. You have to be an example of the execution rhythm you want to see from your team.
Show your passion for your organization and your work, which will motivate them to discover their own passion. This will demonstrate to your team that the short-term goals are attainable.
The display of your solid work ethic will set the tone for everyone who looks up to you as their leader.
WarningYet far too many managers set the example of working extremely long hours without focusing on attention to detail and maintaining their core principals in difficult times. That isn’t to say that long hours won’t often be necessary, but this alone does not mean you’re setting a great example.
Motivation and mood go hand in hand. That’s because your mood affects your energy, ability to concentrate, and overall sense of wellbeing. If your looking for employee motivation ideas that work, then you might want to invest in your work environment.
To sustain employee motivation, you need to develop a culture that supports all team members and inspires them to bring their best on a daily basis.
Otherwise, even the most enthusiastic employees will find their motivation waning. Entrepreneurs know that a great culture leads to improved employee performance across the organization — 86 percent have seen a link between culture and productivity.
The first of three principles thought of by Robert Cialdini, the principle of liking can be implemented to effectively motivate the team.
The principle of liking can be implemented for motivating your team as the more you like someone, the more you’re more likely to be persuaded by them. So when you’re motivating your team, ensure you’ve done the groundwork in getting on their good side.
Leaders Set High Targets
Stretch goals are ones that are set just beyond your team’s current capability. Dangling these goals will motivate them to push beyond their perceived limitations and make major breakthroughs that will help your business.
Instead of setting large long-term goals, set small, attainable, short-term goals for each individual employee that align to a larger mission objective.
WarningGoing back to the importance of communication, make sure you’re communicating regularly with them to keep them on track. When they achieve their short-term goal, celebrate them in order to encourage this behavior in the future.
Setting goals that are too big will put your team into overdrive which may lead them to feel overworked or burnt out. Instead, focus on keeping constant and consistent stretch goals that motivate everyone but doesn’t culminate in a definite “end” that could be interpreted as a recovery or designated “slack-off” period.
Consider S.M.A.R.T. goals the individual rungs on the ladder leading to your loftier goals.
Come up with a list of tasks that will help you achieve your major goals then make the tasks into S.M.A.R.T. goals. You’ve done the exercise correctly when you know exactly what you need to do to start working toward your big goals.
Prioritizing learning and development opportunities and defining a clear career path is key to employee motivation and improves retention and ROI.
WarningThere are many ways leaders can foster professional growth, like giving actionable feedback to employees, or defining a new role within the organization that fits a team member’s unique talents. Making these opportunities available strengthens your company and serves as a strong, daily motivator for employees.
Leaders Guide With Purpose
People are most energized when they are using their strengths for a purpose beyond themselves. When employees feel as though the work they do is playing an integral role in the overall success of the company and the world, they are motivated to work harder.
As a leader, you will want to create purpose-driven goals.
When it comes down to it, the real force behind motivation has nothing to do with money or number-driven goals. Real employee motivation is driven by purpose and a desire to make a difference.
When you take the time to explain the reason behind your directions, you’ll get much higher buy-in from your employees.
WarningAs Simon Sinek so famously pointed out, the what and the how are easy for most companies to identify. It’s the why that’s hard — and that makes all the difference.
A mission statement that truly reflects the organization’s vision and values is a great start, but you need to follow through on what it promises. Embed the vision and values expressed in the mission statement into the culture of the organization to drive meaningful employee experiences and a more motivated team.
When team members are provided with a vision they can relate to and rally around, they work harder.
Millennials are particularly motivated by company values they can invest in, with nearly 9 out of 10 millennials saying they would consider taking a pay cut to work at a company whose mission and values align with their own.
Even the most mundane of work can be motivating if the leader helps the team member put into context the value their work brings either to the consumer or to the organization.
When you increase the scope of work to be done, to the level of the individual’s capability, then people generally become more engaged and energized. A great leader can help inspire and motivate people by getting them to see beyond the immediacy of what they are doing to the bigger picture.
Leaders Create Opportunities
Show your employees that you trust them and allow them to contribute heavily. Ask for feedback, get suggestions on how they can improve their performance and be utilized more within their role.
Take care of your people, and they’ll take care of the mission.
If you truly want to motivate them, take their suggestions and implement them. Show that their input is valued and they’ll feel more motivated to complete any task at hand.
Even the most fun and challenging jobs can become routine over time, so keep your team motivated by introducing novelty into the workplace.
WarningThere’s a strong relationship between novelty and motivation, and providing employees with exciting new opportunities and activities is an easy way to keep them engaged. Friendly competitions, collaborative games, and regular team events will help keep every day just a little bit different.
Pick your prizes. You will be most effective if it’s incentivized — and all the better if you can make those incentives exclusive company offers that can only be earned through participation in the recognition challenge. Higher-end company swag and out-of-the-office excursions are examples of options employees are sure to love.
Check in with employees regularly and ask what they need to maintain momentum.
WarningIf necessary, consider changing up work roles, responsibilities, and routines to sustain engagement and motivation. Not only will you keep things fresh and exciting, you’ll also boost wellness and engagement while showing that you care.
Assigning people to specific tasks and duties that play to their strengths is one of the best employee motivation techniques.
When people are playing to their strengths on a regular basis — they feel effective, focused and fulfilled. The person becomes more internally motivated — feeling upbeat and enthused by what they are doing — and will feel inspired to continue more.
Leaders Know Their Words
Your employees will never be motivated to achieve the goals of your organization if they don’t feel like those goals are properly communicated to them. Over-communicate your goals and how you expect each individual to contribute.
Communication is a powerful tool that leadership can use to create an environment that brings forth employee motivation.
Communicate regularly on progress and changes in your business. In times of chaos, high communication and close ranks are critical to maintaining alignment.
Communicate daily with every employee who reports to you. Employees want to be members of the in-crowd, people who know what is happening at work as soon as other employees know.
WarningThey want the information necessary to do their jobs. They need enough information so that they make good decisions about their work.
Implement an open-door policy for staff members to talk, share ideas, and discuss concerns. Make sure that managers understand the problems that they can and should solve will be directed back to them, but it is the executive’s job to listen.
Practicing transparency at every level in the organization builds trust and motivates employees.
WarningEmployees want to know everything they can, including how the business is doing, where they fit into the big picture, and what the competition is doing.
Without great communication skills, leaders will have a harder time motivating their team.
Effective communication is one of the keys to unlocking the motivation needed to ensure the open and transparent office culture that you desire. In addition to the success that’s ultimately achieved through increased motivation.
Leaders Are Grateful
At the end of the day, we’re humans. Humans are motivated by incentives, so it’s never a bad idea to add in a few in order to boost motivation even more.
Recognition of employee performance is high on the list of employee needs for motivation.
WarningMany leaders equate reward and recognition with monetary gifts. While employees appreciate money, they also appreciate praise, a verbal or written thank you, out-of-the-ordinary job content opportunities, and attention from their manager.
Affirming rewards motivate employees by recognizing managers that fulfill important, challenging goals.
Common rewards such as pay increases, bonuses, promotions, and recognition are affirming if they are tied to important goals and are not administered in an oppressive manner. Avoid offering rewards that create substantial pressure for employees to achieve specific outcomes, reducing their sense of self-direction and dominating their thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Feedback — both positive and performance improving — is vital to continuous improvement and inspires people to continually move toward using more of their potential. Feedback needs to be timely, specific and presented in such a way that the individual is clear about what behaviors or skills they need to modify (or continue using) to improve performance.
Reciprocity is the idea that if you give a little something, you’ll get something in return.
WarningImplementing this to get the team more motivated is simple. As if you give the team a little bit of something, they’re likely to give you something in return.
Using social proof is a great way that leaders can to motivate the team.
Social proof is the demonstrating of good work of others, to validate what the team is doing. For example, by celebrating somebody in the team for good work will motivate others to reach the same kind of relative success.
Leaders Give Space
Human beings value autonomy. We all want to feel in control of our time and energy, and a lack of agency is a surefire way to torpedo your team’s motivation.
Employees seek autonomy and independence in decision making and in how they approach accomplishing their work and job.
Provide more authority for the employee to self-manage and make decisions. Within ongoing effective communication, delegate decision making after defining limits, boundaries, and critical points at which you want to receive feedback.
The key is giving your team a true sense of ownership — not just over their most important projects, but on things like schedule and time off.
WarningThe ability to exert control over their time can be as motivating as the satisfaction that comes with seeing a project through to completion. An excellent tip on how to keep employees motivated and take complete ownership of their work.
Despite its benefits, autonomy is not the norm for most businesses. Managers fear that giving their direct reports too much leeway will create a lax environment and employees will take advantage. Cracking the proverbial whip is seen as a way to prevent slacking off.
Remember that not everyone is as motivated to be at work as the business owner is.
WarningChanging the world isn’t always as high on the list as it may be on others’. It’s their life outside of work that gives people the energy and motivation to be a great employee. So nurture that side of them by allowing them to get reenergized from time to time.
It’s up to employers to foster a healthy work-life balance and encourage employees to take the time they need to recharge.
Leading organizations are implementing programs to alleviate stress, including child-care assistance, wellness initiatives, and mandatory paid time off. Giving employees the flexibility to fit their work schedules around their lives can also significantly reduce employee stress and boost productivity and motivation.
Employee motivation is a common interest for leaders and managers who are responsible to oversee the work of other employees. If you pay constant attention to these significant factors in employee motivation, you’ll win with motivated, excited, contributing employees.
Effective leadership lays down the foundation for employee trust.
Great leaders are able to objectively assess whether they’re setting a good example for the rest of the team to follow. By first modeling the behavior they want to see in their team members, leaders will be that much closer to having a fully engaged team in good times and in bad.
As a leader, if you step up to the wire, people will respect you and follow you. It does start with you.
You are creating a work environment in which people will choose motivation. You can make their whole experience with your company.
To understand the fundamentals of how you can motivate employees at the workplace, you should know that not all motivating factors are monetary based.
WarningTo be a great workplace leader, you must be able to motivate your team. And since people are all different, you might have to be aware of a few different ways to do so.
Leadership strives to draw forth the best that employees have to offer, their intrinsic motivation, and their discretionary energy. It’s up to you to follow and implement the tips covered above!
While there’s no one-size-fits-all way on how to motivate your employees, take some of the ideas mentioned here and see how they can benefit your organization. How do you keep your team motivated? What have you seen work? What’s failed? Let us know in the comments below.