Why are so many consultants enamored of reports? Don’t let them fool you: it’s because they’re easy. Don’t think so? Ask a teacher what kind of work her students prefer: do they like to read and discuss pieces and do creative assignments or do they like to do worksheets? The intuitive answer is the creative projects, but most students prefer filling out boring worksheets because it is easier. It requires much less effort, concentration, and interaction. It doesn’t require that you be engaged. And the report is the consultant’s version of a worksheet. Some set themselves to autopilot and churn out reports that mean very little for the success of your business. You deserve more than a cookie-cutter, worksheet, busy-work approach.
Posts Tagged ‘engagement’
A favorite question I often ask business owners or senior managers after discussing their company’s priority business goals is “if I asked your first line supervisors or employees what the most important objectives here are, what would they tell me?” Typically, after a little silence, the more honest ones answer “I don’t know.” The point of course is twofold:
1. Has management taken the time to define progress in terms of very specific metrics?
2. Has ownership of those objectives been passed to the people who produce the company’s products or services?
Recognizing the efforts of employees is a key component of keeping them engaged. Positive recognition is an indicator of a positive and collaborative organizational culture. Leaders need to ensure they are recognizing not only the employee but also their work and their opinion. The most important part of recognition is that it be sincere, specific and directed towards the individual rather than a group or team.
Many business owners neglect one of the most important components of leadership; employee engagement. There are 4 steps in the business growth process: plan, train, engage and impact. The third piece – engagement – is the one that some companies seem to miss. They may do all the other people tasks such as providing position descriptions, outlining performance objectives and developing performance management programs, but by overlooking this critical element of leadership, a huge gap is created in the forward momentum of their business. It doesn’t matter what the leadership role; it’s about how the leader responds to and engages with their employees. Managing people is the critical element; it is the part that makes businesses work.
Often what appears as engagement may in fact be hiding a lack of critical skills in another area. Recently, I was invited to be a coach in a company where a senior manager seemed to be making great progress. Upon looking deeper into his behaviour, it was discovered that his communication skills were lacking. He seemed to be good at giving direction, but because there was no follow through conversations, there was really little communication between the manager and his staff. The appearance of engagement hid the reality of disengagement from his employees.
The symptoms of disengagement are sometimes hard to diagnose. The following are three key indicators that staff are really not committed to a manger/supervisor and that the issue may clearly be a case of ineffective management.
Conflict is easy to deal with; nothing could be easier. When you know one party is in the right and the other is in the wrong. When you know one party is reliable, truthful, and hardworking, and the other is not. But what happens when valuable employees are engaged in conflict? Whether it is over a specific project or they have clashing personalities, it can be tough to referee these matches. Rather than taking sides, talk solutions.
Managing conflict between two (or more) good employees tends to swing along the pendulum; it is either much easier, or it is much more difficult. The challenge for managers and supervisors is to avoid being seen as choosing sides as far as outcomes and solutions are concerned.
Is it money that makes people stay at their jobs? Is it money that makes them leave? Surprisingly, no. Most often, people leave because they feel they are not valued or challenged. They are not getting the proper training; they feel they are not developing as a professional. Many companies are hesitant to offer extensive training because they fear it will prompt employees to look elsewhere for higher paying positions. In reality, training is one of the best ways to increase retention. It is also one of the best ways to implement change.