It has been shown that engagement is the key to longevity in employment. Engaged employees are happier and feel that they contribute at a much higher level than their non-engaged counterparts, and therefore, of course, they stay longer. This isn’t rocket science. It makes sense that happier people will stay longer, but what makes them happy? What creates the feeling that they are not only satisfied with their jobs, but actually enjoy them and look forward to performing each day? That is the real mystery here, but one that can be solved upon close examination.
What creates the environment, or culture, where team members feel engaged? Teams look for specific things, whether consciously or unconsciously to become engaged in their workplace. They seek a feeling of being supported, they want to be listened to, they need to feel cared for, they want to grow in their talent and skills, and they want their leaders to ask for feedback. Knowing these things is critical to our success as their leaders.
So what do we do? We should begin by examining the driving force we can directly control… ourselves, as their leaders. We have the greatest control over ourselves, our behaviors, our focus, the support we provide, and the direction we give. These things we have direct control over, and as a result, they directly impact those we lead. Sure, other things will impact the team and their happiness, like the marketplace, community, politics, etc. Still, the massive impact we have on a daily basis during their workdays cannot be overstated.
I invite you to dive deeply into your leadership rhythm here to seek out clues as to how you are creating engagement or not.
Each week, ask yourself…
What are the things I am doing, with purposeful regularity, that is increasing happiness in your team’s jobs?
How am I providing clear direction and offering genuine support where needed?
How am I setting behavioral and result expectations that align with our organizational purpose?
How am I defining priorities and establishing high levels of expectations?
How are my training and coaching efforts improving performance to elevate competence and confidence in the team?
What purposeful activities am I creating to inspire collaboration and bonding?
Here are some specific steps you can follow:
Block time to examine engagement methods. Close your Knowledge Gaps on what works for your team
Define specific engagement activities for the team. Based on what you learn, build out methods with purpose
Define specific engagement activities for you to engage with the organization. Examine your own engagement level, identify what creates joy for yourself, and build it into your rhythm
Define specific engagement activities for you and your team to engage with your customers and the community. Looking beyond ourselves enhances our connection and commitment to the things we do.
There are many ways to go after building engagement, but it all starts with your leadership rhythm, the things you do consistently that the team sees in you and counts on. Look in the mirror. How are you engaged? What inspires you to do your best work? Then look at your team and ask the same questions. Do this consistently each week, as those motivations may change over time. But in the end, your connection with your team, and the culture you create as their leader, which is completely within your control, is the primary driving force to build happiness, satisfaction, and engagement.