Do you manage by walking around? What do you see? People excited about their job or people just going through the motions?
Here are 10 ways, that do not cost much if anything, to turn “it’s just a job” employees into engaged, energized employees.
1. Spend time out in the field. Ask your employees how you can help make their jobs easier. Work alongside them and even let them teach you what they do. Southwest Airlines has a mandate that every manager must spend 1/3 of his or her time in direct contact with employees and customers to create a stronger feeling of teamwork.
2. Hold a voluntary good news hour. Set aside time once a week so that .everyone can share good things that have happened in their lives and work during the last week
3. Celebrate everything you can. For example, meeting of short term goals, the end of the budget process, winning grants or new customers, extraordinary work, safety successes.
4. Surprise with spontaneous treats. Rent an ice cream cart or a popcorn machine. Take coffee and donuts to each person’s work station. How about a package of Lifesavers™ during a stressful time?
5. Praise frequently. A pat on the back, a short note of thanks, or a voice mail message from a manager can refill employees’ emotional bank accounts for weeks!
6. Hold informal “grapevine sessions” to control the flow of the rumor mill. Managers must be prepared to listen and to be completely truthful and open. Even when they can’t share specific information, they can honestly explain why and when it will be available.
7. Let people know what they do is important. Help your workers focus not on only a job description but also on how they fit into the big picture. That new sense of purpose will boost their self-esteem and motivation.
8. Don’t let respect slip under the radar screen. If you treat your employees with respect you will earn their respect. For example, if you pay attention to and take care of your front-line people, they will in turn pay attention to and take care of the customer. Start with daily greetings. Remember their birthdays or other important dates. Take an interest in their interests. Say thank you for a job well done.
9. Take them serious. There’s incredible brainpower all around you, so why not put it to work? You hired your employees because you thought they could make a valuable contribution. Ask for their suggestions to problems. Include them in decisions that affect their work. Give them enough authority that goes with their responsibility.
10. Work for your people. Listen and act quickly on their questions. Clear the way so they can do their jobs well. Once people see their leader as acting for them, or on their behalf, they develop a personal loyalty that energizes their performance.
Supervision Success Tip:
If someone asked your staff or frontline workers a few general questions about the company or your department, would they describe it in terms like ‘they’ and ‘them,’ or in terms like ‘we’ or ‘us’? What can you do, in your position, to move your people to feel engaged and part of your team? Also see Motivate Your Best People and The Enthusiastic Employee.
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- Copyright © 2012 Marcia Zidle business and leadership coach