BY AMY COOLEY
Chances are that you’ve caught on to the reality that attracting, hiring, retaining, and developing “talent” comes down to one thing: engagement, engagement, engagement. In fact, employee engagement has become so important that it’s not just human resources specialists who are talking about it. Management and leadership experts, business gurus, and marketing professionals have put employee engagement at the forefront of success.
In his book, Drive, author Daniel Pink talks about one of the major components of employee engagement: motivation. He says that intrinsic (internal) motivation is even more powerful than external motivation. So, while the old “carrot and stick” method has its merits, the three pillars of internal motivation have more staying power: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
Autonomy means some level of freedom to accomplish the goals of your work—less micromanagement, more trust.
Mastery is just getting better at something—developing, improving.
Purpose is finding meaning in the work you and understanding how it fits into a larger mission and vision.
Earlier this year, HR Coach took an in-depth look at longer-term strategies for employee engagement click here. While long-term approach is essential to sustainability, putting that strategy into practice requires action. There’s only one way to develop new habits—by doing.
So, by way of a light late-summer refresh, here are five things you can do this week to start increasing employee engagement and motivation:
1. Take a pulse
Employee surveys are a great tool in your employee engagement plan and something you can do right away. The best way to find out what’s working and what’s not, what people care about, and ultimately, how engaged they are (or aren’t), is to ask. Employee surveys are most candid and honest—and therefore, most meaningful—when they are anonymous.
Have a brainstorming session with your team about ideas to further your mission and vision. Don’t have a mission or vision statement? This session with your team can help you hone in on your shared purpose.
3. Open a channel
Ongoing, constructive feedback is crucial to both motivating and developing your team. Find the method (or methods) that makes sense for you and your business and get those dialogues started.
4. Face a challenge
Asking your team for help with a challenge shows you trust them and value their input. Not only that, but involving them in creating the solution also creates buy-in for making necessary changes. This week, try taking one specific challenge your business is facing to your team. Maybe it’s a difficult client or a repeated service failure. Share everything you know about what happened and any cause analysis you’ve done. Then ask for their input and ideas on how to fix it.
Empower your team to deliver exceptional service. I was on site with a client recently doing some training with their customer service team. In the course of our conversation about inside sales and getting to “yes,” it became clear that just about everyone on the team felt they had some negotiating power to offer a small percent discount for first-time bookers, special circumstances, making up for service failures, and so on. And it works. I saw an engaged “think like an owner” mentality with this team. This power isn’t being abused, and in fact, it goes a long way to building the business. What a great example of autonomy that empowers! This week, work with your team on some guidelines for making these decisions, and then give them the lead.
Give these approaches a try and then use this week’s momentum to get your engagement strategy off the ground. [CD0822]
Amy Cooley is HR Administrator for The LMC Groups. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.