The word “inspire” brings a cascade of things to mind – sunsets, paintings, trees, books, maybe even a mentor or someone famous. But how often does your workplace manager come to mind? According to a recent Gallup report titled State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders, managers account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement scores. To make matters worse, a Gallup study of 7,272 U.S. adults revealed that one in two had left their job to get away from their manager. Not very inspiring statistics, right?
How can these numbers be improved? Here are some suggestions for leaders to help inspire their team.
See your employees as human beings:
Have you ever asked yourself why you just don’t seem to be connecting with your team? Think about how you can get to know each individual on a level beyond the daily grind. Ask them to share personal stories about their life. Monitor their working habits and assign projects that will cater to their working style and personal strengths. Your employees will perform better and feel valued if they believe you are truly listening to their needs.
Show your human side too:
Share your story with your team, and make sure to talk to your failures as well as your successes. Your team will respect you for your honesty, and they will be able to easily relate to you instead of seeing you as just another distant manager.
Create brainstorming opportunities:
Allow time for your team members to connect and come up with their own ideas. Ensure you are openly accepting of ideas, not immediately judging them (assessment can come later). Book a location outside the usual work environment and watch the sparks fly.
People like to know their efforts mean something. A purpose-driven employee will be far more engaged and productive. Help your team feel like they are part of the bigger picture by sharing company goals and showing them how their work contributes to those goals. Be sure to check-in regularly with your team as company goals and benchmarks change.
Conduct career advancement meetings, not just feedback meetings:
It is great to meet with your team members on a one-on-one basis to keep abreast of project progress and employee performance, but don’t forget to have career-centered conversations too. Employees know their manager is the one person who will either help or hinder their advancement. Don’t be a roadblock to their success; really take the time to understand their career goals and help them get there.
Hopefully these tips have “inspired” you to take action the next time you walk into work and wish to see improvement in your team!
Contact me if you would like further help with creating an inspiring workplace.