Are you sitting comfortably? Welcome to my series of podcasts that will help you to navigate some of the difficulties you might come up against when you’re a business owner. Today, I want to talk about how to steer your way to business success with an engaged and motivated team.
When you look at your team, what do you see? Do you see disengagement, low performance, and poor attendance? Do you feel like you’re walking into work each day, not knowing what employee issues you’re going to have to deal with next? This is not what you imagined when you became your own boss, is it?
All you want is to get on with your business, and it seems like taking on employees has been so much hassle. This is because building a team of different personalities with different backgrounds, experiences, and skillsets is a fine balancing act.
No employee, no matter who they are, can be totally engaged and motivated all of the time. Things happen whether personally or professionally that can knock people off track. But being temporarily below par and being actively disengaged are two completely different things. Disengagement affects productivity and profits, and it can also spread like wildfire through a team.
So what are the signs that an employee or employees have become disengaged? You may recognise some of them.
Firstly, you might notice that an employee or employees start to withdraw, and won’t do anything more than the bare minimum that’s necessary to do their job.
They might stop actively participating in team meetings or seem disinterested in 1:1 meetings.
They might suddenly go from being one of your best employees to missing deadlines, turning up late, and performing poorly in general.
They might start taking more and more time off from work.
You might notice them being cynical, and gossiping or complaining.
They may be negative about any ideas you put forward to grow the business.
And finally, you might notice that they become rude or curt when dealing with you or their co-workers.
But don’t worry if you identified with all of these. There are things you can do to increase employee engagement and bring things back from the brink.
The first thing you have to do is not easy. You have to take a look at yourself and ask if you’re contributing to any of the issues that are going on in your business. For example, do you make people feel like they aren’t being heard? Do you say that your door is always open but then you’re not available or approachable when employees have a problem? Do you exhibit a lack of trust in your team, whether intentionally or unintentionally? These are issues you have to tackle if you want a more engaged and motivated team.
So be open, be honest, and inspire trust. Don’t hold back vital pieces of information, and always ask your team to contribute their ideas and suggestions.
Next, being visible is important. You need to let people know that you’re there to assist them and to listen when necessary. Don’t be that boss that people only hear from when they’re in trouble.
Instead, you want to show people you value them, and part of that is saying thank you for a job well done. Taking the time to say thanks either in person or via a personal email costs nothing, but it will increase engagement and loyalty in the long run.
Much of your success in business (or not) will come as a result of the relationships you have with your most valuable asset-your people. So you can see why it’s worth building genuine and meaningful relationships with your team from day one.
So cultivate trust and display empathy. A part of this is recognising that employees have lives outside of work, just as you do. Being flexible about their working hours or location is a great tool for increasing engagement and loyalty, but only if you know that it won’t negatively affect your business.
The biggest factor in whether employees are engaged or disengaged can be the workplace culture. Do people feel valued and supported? Are they encouraged to develop? Is there a real sense of being ‘in this together?’
Improving employee engagement does not have to be complicated. It can be as simple as treating people how you would want to be treated, showing them respect, being kind, and realising that your team are human beings with lives of their own outside of your business.
Want to read more on how to increase engagement in your team in these times, then the blog here will help.
Do you need help?
Have you noticed a lack of energy and engagement from your team lately? Performance has dipped and sickness absence has increased?
It doesn’t have to be this way.
I can help you diagnose why this is happening and what you can do to fix it.
How I can help
I work with you through the “Success with Employees” membership to help you and your team to identify needs and share bite-size training, virtually through the membership
Through the involvement of the team and capitalising on people’s strengths, it will create a high performing team that wants to go the extra mile. By pulling the team together it stops sub-cultures and creates a feeling of belonging.
Your team will develop confidence in their abilities and will learn how to make decisions and move forward, even when you are not there.
Employees like to be involved and with the skills, I will pass on to you and your team you will see morale and working relationships improve.
I’ve managed and led operational teams for 33 years and I understand how personal lives can intrude on work, and what support teams need.
I hold a Level 7 CMI Professional Consulting Diploma plus IODA Qualification Equal Opportunities, as well as Level 5 CMI Management and Leadership.
If you’d like an energised, high performing team who work together efficiently and confidently even when you’re not there– get in touch with me to find out how.
Book a call now.