“Success is not an entitlement…you have to earn it.” I heard the above sound-bite this morning on the call center floor and it stuck with me. Success at what? Creating a thriving culture? A performance culture? All of the above with engaged employees? I know that is what I am hoping and driving toward. Vince Lombardi said if you chase perfection you will find excellence.
In today’s market place you have baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Y…are there any I’m missing? A lot has changed over the years. For me, some things haven’t changed. Things like being punctual, work ethic, respect, etc. But how do you get your multi-generational team engaged? I’d like to share three things that I’ve found to be very effective. These are nothing new, however very impactful if done consistently.
1. Pro-actively Over-Communicate
First, over-communicate and do it pro-actively so people are not coming up with their own conclusions or assuming. “Not knowing” kills employee engagement. Too often people always assume the worst. So, get in front of your people and give them access to the answers they are seeking.
2. Lead by Example
Another thing I’ve found important is something I learned early in my time in the United States Marine Corps. If you lead by example, you will be followed with pride. If you want your people to be committed, then you better be committed. If you are asking them to go above and beyond, you better go first. Don’t ask something from your team that you are not willing to give.
3. Learn about Your Team
This has been my achilles heel. We all have one. I am a lot better than I have been in the past, but I still have room to grow. To engage your team you cannot use just one approach. It may be an over simplification but I’ve heard you can group people into “high courage” or “high consideration.” I fall into high courage or as my wife calls it “Jar Head mode.” I’ve learned that if I don’t pay people in their currency they don’t hear you. A friend of mine once told me that respect trumps content. If your employee does not feel understood and respected, they will never be engaged and certainly never hear the content of your message. Learn about each member of your team and you will engage them to success.
How do you get your team engaged?