The Struggle to Engage and Motivate Employees
By Blanca Robinson
Click aqui para español->La dificultad de involucrar y motivar a los empleados
Every leader faces this problem. In fact, it is a billion-dollar problem! According to Gallup, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged, and 25% of employees report that they are actively disengaged. The costs associated with this are staggering in terms of lost productivity and the cost of replacing employees. Engaging and mobilizing employees can be a daunting challenge, but a few simple behaviors can make a huge difference to improve engagement.
It is frustrating to have to read minds
Many employees are frustrated because they feel like they must read their manager’s mind. They don’t know how they are doing and how they can improve their performance. The annual performance review is sometimes their only chance to find out, and that event is so stressful and formal that the environment is not always conducive for improvement.
Spans of control contribute to the problem
This situation is not completely the fault of management. In some organizations, spans of control have become so large that managers must complete formal performance reviews monthly.
The solutions are simpler than you think
There are many simple strategies to engage and mobilize employees. They cost almost nothing to implement, can be put into place immediately, and have huge impact. For instance, one opportunity that many leaders have – even at the C-level – is to give more frequent, informal feedback about how each employee is doing. That way, everyone in an organization knows what is expected of them and how they can get better.
The 7 questions
There are seven simple questions every leader must answer and communicate to employees frequently. Small, informal conversations about performance go a long way, especially when they include teachable moments about different situations and details.
What do I expect from you?
What are you doing well?
What, if anything, could you be doing better?
What, if anything, do I want you to do better?
What will happen if you improve (e.g., more responsibility, more time with leadership, more desirable assignments?
What will happen if you don't improve?
How can I help?
While all these questions are important, the last question is especially important. It shows the employee that the leader cares and is not merely abdicating responsibility or shifting blame.
Blanca Robinson, Owner of VIVA Consulting Group, is an executive Coach and Business Strategist. For more information, visit www.vivaconsultinggroup.net