Emotionally Invest In Your People

Engagement word circled in a dictionary definition to illustrate meaning of the word in business attracting customers with involvement and participation

Have you ever worked with someone who was “retired but on active duty?”

How about the person who’s “quit but still at their desk.”

I remember one co-worker basically stating he was “counting the days until retirement. Until then, I’m here to collect my paycheck.” He would take extra long lunch breaks, never finish projects, or help out because he knew the bare minimum he could get done without being fired.

Talk about a downer. Who would ever want to work with someone like that?

Working with a quitter still on payroll can be one of the more demoralizing aspects for your team. As a leader, you must create a culture of accountability.

This doesn’t mean you have to threaten or cajole your people. Far from it. But you do have to clearly set measurable goals and then stick to them.

It’s not enough to just show up.

When did attendance become such a barometer for performance?

Just like my courses, I’d much rather my participants be present, active, and engaged. Rather than someone just sitting there because they have to be and need the attendance sheet to be marked off for compliance reasons. Don’t get me wrong. I still mark attendance (because how can you be engaged if you aren’t there?) – but it’s not the primary method to measure performance.

Is it time to think of something other than attendance or just being there everyday as a performance indicator?

Some of the most trend-setting exemplars in industry have stopped counting attendance altogether. That is, companies like Netflix, Virgin Air, and Zappos have stopped counting and tracking vacation days.

What the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found was those employees (with no set tracking policy) took about the same amount of vacation days or less than the national average. There were also less sick days and decreased absenteeism.

Move the metric from the head to the heart. Click To Tweet

When your why is always related to financial returns, people will always find a way to bleed the system, but if your why can somehow relate to an emotional (purpose-based) return – people will want take part.

I love this quote by Simon Sinek:

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”

If you want to increase employee engagement, it’s time to empower your people. Treat people with respect and they will respond in kind.

Here are 3 steps to increase engagement this week:

  1. Give them meaningful goals to achieve.
  2. Clearly state your expectations.
  3. Coach and mentor them to reach those goals.

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