If you are in charge of your team, department or whole company to move forward, you’ll probably recognize it: employees who rather do the same for years, instead of innovating processes and help adopting your business to new market developments. You feel like your team is holding you back from making that great big success and that there is no employee engagement nor employee motivation within your company. If this is your case, read on!
First Understand, Before Trying to Be Understood
In this article, we will look at why it is important to have motivated employees and how you could trigger them to be engaged and motivated again. First of all, firing your employees is never the solution, because you will get back stuck with the same problem with new employees. As Stephen Covey describes in his book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, first try to understand before being understood. This means that they probably have a reason for not being so engaged to achieve your business’ goals. Therefore, it is important to seek for the reason why your team doesn’t feel like innovating and taking that extra step to achieve the company’s goals. Employee percention is therefore important to be understood.
Engage Employees With Your Company Vision
According to multiple studies and written books (like Stephen Covey’s Book), the ultimate motivation and discipline comes from within. Meaning that when someone is aware of his or her true values and seeks to live by their principles, that person has more motivation to achieve their goals in life than any other incentive, such as money, time or status. For your team, this is true as well. To engage the employees with the organisation it is important that your team is aware of what the company’s vision is, and why it is so important for the greater good. Look at yourself, you are eager to make the company grow, right? Why did you choose to start or work at this company? What drives you to seek people to help you grow the business? Use your answer to that question in order to seek what truly triggers employee engagement.
When you feel that the company’s vision or your vision is not in line with your employee’s values, then you might have identified the problem of why your employees are not engaged and do not feel like innovating. You might want to think about other incentives to trigger that engagement and motivation. These could be in line with their personal values, but not relevant for the company’s business. Such as giving them time to train themselves in any area they like, or helping them setting up a project regarding their values within your company. Giving them ownership and listening to their values could eventually make them more creative, innovative and motivated.
Fresh and Young Blood
If you identified the problem as your team being too stuck to old processes, ideas and market situation, you might want to consider having some fresh and young blood. Don’t get me wrong, I do not suggest firing people, since the experience that the older employees carry with them is very valuable for your business. However, hiring younger team members could fire things up a little, including the older people within your company. Imagine yourself being still a student or a postgraduate, you were probably very motivated, eager to learn new things and achieve your goals. Imagine what that eagerness and energy could do with your mature and stuck team. This would create a great synergy in your business and team, the synergy of experience and innovativeness, motivation and creativity.
Meetings & Huddles
Another reason for a team to lack employee engagement could be conflicts or other incidents that you are not aware of. This could be an incident with you, or among team members. Solving this could lead to employee satisfaction big time, and therefore you should definitely consider a more coherent team. Meetings, both formal and informal, are highly important. This allows your team to bond with each other and with you. Providing everyone with the opportunity to be completely open, without consequences, will provide you with a more honest way of working together. Besides that, create quick huddles and present yourself as someone that is open for everyone’s opinion, regardless whether you like their opinion or not. Receiving their problems and opinions with open arms, makes you aware of what is going on within your team. This allows you to solve problems before they escalate.
In the end, if the engine doesn’t function, the car doesn’t move a bit.
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