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Engage Your Employees in 10 Syllables

0-building-blocksResearch shows it. We know it.

Engaged employees are more productive. Productive employees help us grow sales faster than costs. Therefore, engaged employees are key to increasing your bottom line.

How’s that for a logic exercise?

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Let’s discuss four words – which all begin with the letter “C” – that will help you engage your employees in ten syllables:

First, a one syllable word: Care
Really and truly care about your employees – not as workers, as people.

Throw the old adage about mixing business and friendship out the door. That’s yesterday’s mindset. For every time it bites you in the butt, there will be many times when it serves you well.

Let your people get to know you. Get to know your people individually, personally and professionally.

We work harder for people we like. We like people who care about us.

So genuinely caring creates a competitive advantage. Isn’t that something? It happens spontaneously, though. It’s not something that can be forced.

Second, a two syllable word: Converse

Talk with your employees. Find out what is going well and what isn’t. Discover what would help them do their jobs better.

We believe in open book management. However we don’t believe that you have to tell all of your employees all the details. Be positively real.

Leaders have more on their plate than ever. Everybody is trying to do more with less. But don’t neglect your people.

Get out from behind your desk a few times a day. Walk around. Spend some time chatting with your people. It’s probably the most productive thing you can do.

Conversation creates concord. Listening is one way to show your people you care. Many people assume the worst. Keeping them informed tames the beast.

Third, a three syllable word: Celebrate!
Our news media thrives on bad news. Do the opposite. Make a bigg deal of good news. Celebrate! Whenever your team does something spectacular, pause and enjoy the moment.

There’s an old management technique called management by exception. Try this instead – manage for exceptional. Highlight people on your team who have done something outstanding.

Share the credit liberally. It’s a rookie mistake to do otherwise. There’s almost nothing you can do to engage your employees that goes as far as a genuine “atta boy” or “atta girl”.

Celebration encourages continuation. It’s fun to play for a winning team. We can’t wait for the next game, for the next opportunity to show what we can do. We look forward to the next victory. So we can celebrate again!

Fourth, a four syllable word: Collaborate

Michael Jordan said it best: “Talent wins games; teamwork wins championships.”

Encourage your people to share their ideas. It will make your life as a leader much easier.

Great leaders make decisions but the best answers often come from their people. Your employees will be more engaged when they see their ideas being adopted. That leads to bigg success!

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Engaging Your Employees

How Honest Should You be with Your Employees?

questionsClinton Korver wrote a great article for Harvard Business Publishing. He talks about his experience running a start-up and why it’s especially important during tough times to share information with your employees.

He says that he went against the advice of his venture capitalists. They feared losing employees, customers, and other investors if the bad news got out. Clinton found that being completely forthright strengthened his relationships with his employees.

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marylynn One of my radio managers did that when our company wasn’t doing so well. I appreciated the honesty and how it put all of us on the same page.

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Honesty is high on most of our lists of core values. However, do we really think that we should always be honest?

For example, picture yourself standing with your best friend adoring her newborn baby boy. You think he’s the least attractive baby you’ve ever seen. She’s going on and on about him, when she asks you the dreaded question …

Isn’t he the best looking baby you’ve ever seen?

Would you tell her what you really think? Or would you pick your words carefully to avoid hurting her feelings?

Of course, this is a different situation than the first one presented – being honest with your employees, even when things are not going well.

But it illustrates that there can be a second value at stake – the desire to not cause undue harm.

Is there a reason to tell your friend what you really think? What good will come from it?

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georgeI’ve come to believe strongly in open-book management. As a general rule, I think the more you share with your employees, the better. Having said that, I have found you also have to know your employees. Open-book requires a higher level of maturity from your employees. If that’s not present, sharing more just creates undue emotional distress.

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The reason an ethical dilemma is a dilemma is because two or more core values at odds with each other. These situations flow up to the leader. You have to find a good solution.

It’s a personal decision. There likely will be disagreement on the best way to handle it. That’s why it’s so important to have a framework in place for these kinds of decisions.
This framework will help you:

  • be more efficient in making decisions like this
  • make decisions that are consistent instead of all over the board
  • build goodwill with all affected parties
  • respect the face you see in the mirror at the end of the day

We have a great resource that helps you set up the framework so when an ethical dilemma comes your way you’re prepared. It outlines the three steps to solving an ethical situation:

  • Know your core values
  • Select an ethical model that helps you apply those core values
  • Use a problem-solving process to work through the situation at hand

So we’ve presented an ethical dilemma today … should you share all news with your employees, even the bad stuff? What do you think?

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How to Attract and Retain the Next Generation of Talent

If You Want to Increase Your Profit, Don’t Put Your Customers First

Keep Your Employees Happy And Watch Your Profits Grow!

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