What’s the difference between leaders who inspire a high level of employee engagement and ones who struggle to get people to do the bare minimum their jobs require?
The secret lies in knowing how to lead from the heart outwards.
Successful leaders inspire their team by communicating their vision in a way that generates excitement and motivates others to jump on board with full commitment. They recognize potential in their people, coach their team members to go above and beyond, and routinely acknowledge others’ positive contributions. And while they demand accountability from the people they lead, they also hold themselves accountable for their performance as well.
Here are some heart-centered tips on how to boost employee engagement in your company and create a culture of success:
1. Know your own strengths and weaknesses
If you want to lead others, first you must understand yourself. When you have a clear sense of your own strengths and weaknesses – and the impact your behavior has on others – your ability to engage others will improve.
For example, let’s say you’re not a graphic designer. Why impose your ideas on the company brochure when you can delegate this responsibility to someone who will do a much better job than you?
Or maybe you’re an introvert who hates making sales calls to clients. Why not hand that task over to an extrovert who’s been blessed with the “gift of gab” and speaks in a way that makes other people want to listen to him or her?
Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses gives you the ability to discern when your skills will add value – or not – and keeps you open to delegating and listening to people with other points of view.
2. Inspire them with a clear, compelling, continuous vision
To engage your employees and motivate them to work tirelessly toward achieving a goal, you must first have a clear and compelling vision of the future. What will you and your team ultimate achieve? By when? What will everyone gain when the goal is reached? Is it honorable, beneficial, ethical, and uplifting? What’s so compelling about it? What else will also be achieved as your team is striving for this major goal?
To inspire maximum employee engagement, you’ll also need to articulate who your team will become as they learn and grow on the path to achieving your vision. They must be able to see themselves in the future as better, smarter, stronger, more valued, and more confident. Defining that outcome in a way that resonates emotionally with your team should be a key part of your vision.
Finally, your belief in your vision must be unshakable. You must believe it’s not only possible, but desirable, essential, and inevitable. And you must communicate this belief with absolute certainty. Only then will you inspire the employee engagement in you need to make your vision a reality.
3. Listen for possibility
Once your employees have bought into your vision, be sure to really listen to them, not only to hear their thoughts and input, but also to make sure they feel heard. People want to know they make a difference and that their insights and opinions matter.
As you listen, focus on remaining present in the moment and being curious to hear other options. That’s when you’ll be able to hear what’s really being said – the unspoken and well as the spoken – and create a true dialogue with your team, instead of simply delivering orders or explaining the game plan.
This kind of listening requires a willingness to be transformed by what you hear. It requires you to shift your focus from listening for “the right way or the wrong way” to listening for what is possible.
I call this approach “listening for possibility.” When you truly listen and are open to all input and ideas, it allows you to co-create new approaches, new outcomes and new benefits from the ideas that you hear and gives your employees the freedom and ability to help shape your path in ways that you alone would not have foreseen.
And that kind of active participation is what will make them become even more motivated to help you make your vision a reality.
Come back for more ways on how to boost employee engagement and create a culture of success in your agency!
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