Have you ever thought about why great leaders have an engaged and committed staff? What do they do or offer differently to have such a team? Well, it is not a secret anymore that employee engagement is crucial for the success of an organization, and there's no doubt that engaging staff is a crucial factor in maintaining a healthy and productive work environment as it can lead to better productivity, increased job satisfaction, and reduce staff turnover. According to 2021 research conducted by Gallup on employee engagement, organizations with highly engaged staff are 21% more profitable. Also, they are 17% more productive than businesses whose employees are not engaged.
When it comes to being a great leader, there are countless books, articles, leadership development programs, and resources available that provide insights into what it takes to engage and inspire staff. The good news is that there are some key things all good leaders do to engage their staff and by taking advantage of available resources and utilizing these fundamental strategies, good leaders can build strong, engaged teams that make significant contributions to the organization's success. So, in this article, I am going to give you ways you can do to improve the engagement of your employees.
"People who work in an environment where doing their best is recognized have a better chance of feeling good about their work."
According to a study, 65% of employees want feedback. 43% of highly dedicated employees get feedback at least once every week compared to 18% of disengaged employees. That’s why feedback is an essential ingredient in the recipe for engaged and motivated employees. It serves as a powerful tool that fosters growth, cultivates a sense of belonging, and promotes continuous improvement within the workplace.
Another is through recognition. A great leader recognizes a job well done and appreciates the hard work and contribution of the members, which creates satisfaction and pride that motivates employees to continue to excel in their work as it empowers them to do their best and encourages them to continue contributing positively to the organization. Recognition also boosts morale, especially during challenging times when employees may feel demotivated or disengaged, which sends a message that the organization values its employees and that their hard work does not go unnoticed. When employees are recognized for their contributions to the organization, they can see how their work is making a difference, which can help to increase their motivation and commitment to the organization's mission and goals.
One of the essential attributes of a good leader is investing their time and resources to aid their team's growth and development. They know that individual growth and development would ultimately lead to their team's and organization's success as every team member's success resonates with the organization and, hence, prioritizes this specific aspect. A good leader encourages their staff's professional growth and development by actively providing them with the necessary resources and opportunities such as training and development programs that range from technical training to interpersonal skill development. They recognize and appreciate each team member's unique skills, strengths, and weaknesses, and they provide them with personalized feedback and guidance to achieve their goals. By doing so, they can stimulate their team and make them feel motivated and engaged at work. Another way to promote learning and growth is to encourage staff members to attend conferences, seminars, and other continuing education events. This not only provides valuable knowledge and skills but also expands the employees' professional networks, allowing for collaboration and knowledge sharing. Finally, great leaders provide opportunities for their staff members to take on new challenges and responsibilities. This not only helps individuals grow in their roles but also allows the team members to step up and take on leadership roles themselves. By providing opportunities for employees to learn and grow, leaders can create a motivated, engaged, and effective workforce that eventually will result in staff retention and employee loyalty.
Great leaders understand that a positive work environment where employees feel safe, supported, and appreciated is an essential factor in keeping the employees engaged and motivated. They create a work environment where employees feel physically and emotionally safe. They implement safety protocols and address safety concerns promptly to provide a hazard-free workplace. Well-being programs, such as mental health support, fitness classes, and ergonomic measures, help promote a healthy work experience. Great leaders encourage their employees to take regular breaks, take leave when required, and ensure that their family life does not get affected by their work commitments. They create a culture where there is flexibility in work hours and work arrangements, and time off is encouraged to maintain a healthy work-life balance. By implementing this, employees feel valued and appreciated and this leads to a more positive and productive atmosphere in which everyone can thrive.
Great leaders also promote a workplace of collaboration, communication, and innovation and encourage group activities such as team-building exercises, volunteer work, and brainstorming sessions and they ensure that there is a culture of respect, support, and positivity in the workplace, which leads to better engagement and productivity among employees.
Good leaders lead by example, modeling the behavior they expect from their staff. They demonstrate a strong work ethic, ethical behavior, and a commitment to excellence. When a leader models the behavior they expect, they are more likely to gain the respect and trust of their employees. For instance, if a leader wants their employees to be punctual, they must arrive at the workplace on time every day to lead by example. Similarly, if a leader wants their employees to be hardworking, they must show dedication and put in the extra effort themselves. A good leader also exhibits ethical behavior, which means they do the right thing, even when it's not the easy or popular choice. By doing so, they set an excellent example for their team. They show that they will not compromise their integrity to achieve success and that their team is expected to operate in the same way. Finally, they are committed to excellence. This means they are always striving to improve their skills and knowledge, and they encourage their employees to do the same. They may take continuing education courses or attend industry seminars and then share their newfound knowledge with their team.
Good leaders understand that an engaged team is a key driver of success. Through open communication, feedback and recognition, leading by example, and investing in team member development, leaders create an environment that fosters engagement, productivity, and a sense of purpose. By practicing these four key principles, leaders can build strong, cohesive teams that consistently exceed expectations and drive organizational success.