5 Leadership Secrets Guaranteed to Enhance Engagement
Management and leadership are two different things. When it comes to meeting objectives, management exercises a delegative approach, while leadership are all about teamwork.
Leaders sell a vision; they’re optimistic about opportunities and get their teams excited to invest in and help establish goals and objectives to fulfil them. Leaders see no hierarchical gap between themselves and their teams – they’re one body working together to meet and exceed visionary goals. Knowing this, leaders hold the secret to employee engagement because they’re inclusive, interested, positive and recognise the value in their teams. As a result, they have the unique ability to motivate, encourage teamwork, improve productivity and create a positive work culture all while exceeding expectations, boosting profits and helping to retain staff. This is why organisations committed to improving engagement and all-round success, should consider exercising these leadership techniques:
set challenging, but realistic goals
Leaders are results-driven, just as managers are, but they’re a lot more conscious of how their decisions impact their team, the environment and results. They’re aware that unrealistic goals or time spans can do plenty of damage: it causes stress and frustration in the workplace, and motivation and productivity plummet as employees begin to feel overworked and undervalued. For true leaders, people are just as important as results, because to them results reflect the happiness and satisfaction of their teams. A good leader knows exactly what each individual and team is capable of, and challenges them accordingly, but never to the detriment of their health, well-being or job satisfaction.
2. say ‘well done’ and ‘thank you’ regularly
Leaders give recognition where it is due because it provides great return on investment. A simple ‘well done’, or ‘thank you’ injects motivation and solidifies engagement in a way that not even a monetary reward could do. It costs nothing and requires almost zero effort for a leader to verbally recognise his/her employees, yet it does wonders for productivity, profit and staff retainment. Recognition is one of the core fundamentals of employee engagement, and since it’s free and easy, there’s really no reason for organisations to reject the practice of it.
3. show interest and concern for their employee’s personal lives
Leaders are people-focussed just as they are results-focused which is why they see the value in learning more about who their employees are outside of work. Through interest and concern, useful information about their motivations and what they value is learned, which could be used by leaders to boost performance or productivity in the workplace. Showing interest and concern for who employees are, and not just what they do, strengthens the relationship between organisation and employee, enhances communication and of course, employee engagement.
4. provide constructive feedback regularly
Feedback is imperative, and leaders know it is invaluable to individuals, teams and themselves. Not only do individuals find it important for self-improvement and career development, but they believe the organisation to be supportive of their growth when constructive feedback is provided – which, of course, enhances employee engagement. When teams are provided with feedback, short-falls can be worked on quickly and weaknesses addressed to ensure an improved outcome next time. This makes problems easier to manage for the leader, and the potential of having it ‘snowball’ into something complex and potentially catastrophic is avoided. Leaders are always working to nurture and improve, and without regular feedback it would be virtually impossible.
5. encourage autonomy and avoid micromanaging
Leaders have faith in their employees and their teams. Unlike the stereotypical delegative manager, leaders believe their people are committed, loyal and excited about working and achieving objectives, which is why they don’t feel the need to micromanage. Rather, they encourage autonomy because they know what it does for employee engagement, productivity, culture and even creativity. Employees and teams don’t want to feel as if they’re being watched, they want to be believed in by their superiors, and be given the benefit of the doubt. Leaders focus on results – because hard data speaks volumes and it’s all that’s needed to determine whether or not an employee or a team is performing to standard.