Leadership has certainly become a hot topic. Employee engagement is another hot topic. Some people might want to add to both of these…“or the lack thereof.” Some of you may be asking, “What has this got to do with the price of tea in China?” The topics of and solutions to both good leadership and positive employee engagement are joined at the hip and here’s how.
Poor leadership can lead to poor employee engagement. On the other hand, employees want to be more autonomous and want to be and recognized as leaders in organizations. So, is achieving effective leadership and employee engagement a wash? Not at all, in fact, one hand washes the other and here’s how.
“It’s lonely at the top” is a metaphor we often hear. Top echelon leaders need all the help they can get. Some leaders fear that giving everyone leadership status will cause utter chaos. However, we cannot expect our leaders to be all things to all people. In fact, one source suggests that organizations could use a good restructuring in that the pyramidal organization puts too much pressure on the few at the top. Ideas and accountability for an organization’s success needs to be spread throughout a company.
Here’s an everyday example from just this week. A coaching client complains that the house is always a mess. (Coaching gets into a lot of corners). He’s right, on several occasions, I’ve seen the chaos he describes. The issue is that neither parent is steeping up to the plate and teaching their two small children that they can only have, let’s say, three toys out at a time. Everything else must be put away and when they want to play with another toy, one of the three must be put back in place. This teaches the children to be responsible, organized, and even to add and subtract. Voilà, and there you have leadership 101. Having leaders everywhere is similar in that sharing responsibility for success can work on many levels, reduce stress on everyone, including upper management, and chaos will be nowhere to be found. Here are some ideas:
- Lead by Example: Leaders who set the example develop cultures with good leader members at all levels. The do what I say, not what I do model, no longer works.
- Know Your Staff: This means using tools like interviews, assessments, and weekly meetings to dig down and truly understand your staff’s talents and the best place in your department and the organization to use those talents.
- Autonomy: Grant your team members autonomy. Once you give them training, and provide clear instructions, get out of the way and let them do their jobs! Micromanaging destroys morale, stunts development, and decreases job satisfaction.
- Tasks: Repetitive tasks can become boring and lead to disengagement. Try diversifying task, introducing challenges, stretch assignments, and interdepartmental committees, work projects, or community assignments.
- Training; You can find Leadership training courses can to fit any budget. Invest in your staff.
The above ideas are not expensive or difficult to implement. Yet, in applying them, you will reap a big payoff for your organization, your department, and even your own career. When your department operates smoothly and without chaos, everyone will notice.
Graphic credit: BigStock.com Copyright: stockasso
Fleet, P. (2017, November). Three Tricks To Improve Workplace Engagement And Your Company’s Bottom Line. Forbes.com
Kane, H. (2015, May). Everywhere Leaders: 6 Leadership Practices for Any Position. idealistcareers.org
London, S. (2013, May). Leaders Everywhere: A Conversation with Gary Hamel. McKinsey.com