Much has been researched and written about the importance of employee engagement. The recent article from Gallup reported that 85% of employees worldwide are disengaged. This is concerning because most employees spend most of their time at work than at home with their families. It is a no-brainer; we must be more than happy at work where we spend most of our time. This will also spill over to other areas outside work.
Over time, several studies have proven that leaders account for 70% of variance in employee engagement. This tells me that the quality of leaders your organisation has must inspire their teams to greatness. This task is one that is difficult for most leaders. For some, it is easy to criticise and point what is not working than to inspire and give courage.
Imagine if you were to turn that around, the results would be phenomenal. Earl Nightingale said it wisely that “everything in the world we want to do or get done, we must do with and through people”. Put differently by the late Steve Jobs, “great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people”
If you find it difficult to inspire and encourage others, you will find yourself alone and not being able to get things done with and through others. If you push people around and fail to inspire them, you soon get compliance than commitment. That is when your team disengages.
You don’t have to suffer that fate as a leader. You have what it takes to inspire your team to greatness. It is your role as a leader and it must come naturally.
Here is how you can go about to inspire your team:
1. Are you the leader you want to follow? It starts with you asking yourself powerful questions about your own leadership style. Are you inspired by you or in your own private space do you dread yourself? If you cannot follow yourself or if you cannot be inspired by your own way of thinking then how do you think others will be inspired to follow you?
2. Define your view of people: A paradigm is a mental map and the way you perceive, understand and interpret the world around you. Do you perceive your team as machines to be used at will? Do you perceive them as physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual beings? Are you able to understand each element of their make up and release the fire within them?
3. Initiate conversations: You will never understand what motivates and drives your team by looking at their resumes or any form of employment record. It takes one conversation at a time. This communicates to the team that you have time for them and they are not just cogs in the wheel. It allows you to listen to them, understand their plight, their strengths and areas of development. Once you do that you can support them in the most befitting way.
4. Stand up for your team: I have seen leaders who help put their team under the bus. You need to support your team on what you agree. Once you are in the open you cannot go along with the rest of the world against your team. Your team needs to know that you are able to take a bullet for them. Once people know you are there for them, they will also reciprocate.
It does not take rocket science to inspire your team to greatness. Once you can do the above, giving them meaningful work and challenging projects become a cherry on top. Promote win-win relationships in your team and all will pull in the same direction to greatness.
Tex Hlalele is a Personal Mastery, Leadership & Organisational Effectiveness Specialist. Book Tex to help you and your team gain insights and possibilities for individual learning and organizational advancement on +2764 656 6174 or visit http://www.dreamsmadepossible.co.za/contact.html. He is the author of the book, Face the person in the mirror.