Are Your Staff Eager To Work? - By Richard Dore - Proteus Leadership
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Are Your Staff Eager To Work?

Studies show that approximately two-thirds of employees are not fully engaged at work, and 26% are actively disengaged. But you don’t need studies to prove that. Think about the people you know in your own network. How many express frustration, apathy or burnout compared to those who seem to thrive in their work?

Maybe you’re not jumping out of bed every morning to get to work, but it’s worth thinking about what it would take to feel more eager to go to work. Are you fully engaged?

As a leader, it’s even more important to consider what it would take to fully engage your team.

Engaged employees are 22% more productive, according to a Gallup meta-analysis of 1.4 million employees. They also enjoy double the rate of success, lower absenteeism and turnover, and fewer safety incidents and quality defects.

In an engaged workforce, people want to come to work. They understand their jobs, and appreciate how their specific responsibilities contribute to the organisation’s overall success.

Executives attempt different approaches to build engagement, from high energy motivational programs to fun off-site events. But increasing engagement doesn’t require bells and whistles, it requires simple actions that are fundamental to good leadership.
If you manage people, your relationship with your direct reports is a key driver of engagement. If you want to build better employee engagement, here are some simple things you can do to start:

Show interest in other people

Showing interest in others makes a lot of sense, but you may be too focused on the numbers, metrics and milestones.

Remember that building a business is based on human connection.

Showing interest in your team members and what they care about goes a long way. You don’t have to nose into their personal business. Ask questions that show you care:

• “How are you?”

• “What are you most excited to accomplish this week?”

• “What do you need?”

Paint the big picture

Employees want to understand where the business is heading. Sometimes it’s a challenge for senior leadership to get clear about the vision for the business. Some executives admit they’re holding too many closed-door meetings to discuss the future. They forget that everyone else in the business isn’t clued in.

When talking with team members, be descriptive about your expectations for the future. Try statements like:

• “Here’s where we expect to be this time next year…”

• “These are some of the issues we’re considering in the visioning process…”

• “Our vision of success looks like this…”

Invite participation

Building a business is a collaborative effort, not directive. Employees want to know their opinions and perspectives are valued. When they understand where your business is trying to go, they have a better sense of why their work matters and where they fit, and can then contribute more effectively.

Let employees know their participation is not only encouraged, but expected. Speak with them, not down to them. Open the dialogue with questions like these:

• “What are you seeing that we might be missing?”

• “What solution do you think we should consider?”

• “What are your thoughts on the issue?”

There’s no magic approach to engaging employees. It often starts with simple conversations. People appreciate the effort, and are more likely to stay with you while increasing productivity.

Final thought: Employees read your own level of engagement. As you take it up a notch, your team will too!


Republished from the International Institute of Directors and Managers (IIDM) –

Proteus Leadership is one of Australia’s premier leadership training and development companies. Proteus Leadership provides leadership courses and management training to a range of industries and assists organisations to build positive workplace cultures, implement change and Create Great Leaders. Proteus also facilitates a range of world-class management courses, workshops, conferences and events across Australia and beyond with the sole purpose of bringing leaders together to connect and grow.

“Our core purpose is to Create Great Leaders that will in turn build Great companies and develop Great teams.”