Management Success Tip #138: Drive Employee Engagement With A Compelling Mission, Vision and Accountability

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The business world is well aware of Gallup’s recent findings that only 30% of U.S. employees are engaged at work, yet engaged employees are vital to the success of your business.

Gallup’s research concludes that managers drive employee engagement to a large extent, and that those who are best at engaging their workers share certain traits:

– They motivate every single employee to take action and engage them with a       compelling mission and vision.

– They have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.

– They create a culture of clear accountability.

– They build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency.

– They make decisions that are based on productivity, not politics.

If you want to join the ranks of “great manager,” take a good, hard look at yourself:

– Do you provide a compelling mission and vision for your employees? Have you crafted that vision with your employees or do you just expect them to go along with whatever you come up with?

– Do you give your very best at all times, which is what underlies your ability to drive outcomes and overcome adversity?

– Are you accountable? Do you hold yourself responsible for your actions and their consequences?

– How open is your open door? Genuine, or lip-service?

– Are you invested in productivity, or only looking to please the higher-ups or your spur your bonus/promotion?

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Management Success Tip #137: Don’t Fight, Flee Or Faint – Clarify For Success!

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Differences of opinion are a necessary catalyst for growth. Managers who discourage opinions that differ from their own, either overtly (“I don’t want to hear it! We’re doing it X way, and that’s that.”) or covertly (“Mm-hm, that’s interesting,” aka shining you on), miss out on the opportunities afforded by a multiplicity of ideas.

You are not the sole authority on your business. Hard to hear, I know, but often there are employees and co-workers who are more in touch with certain aspects of the business, or the economic environment, or even social media – who could add great value, if you’d only let them.

Humans have basically three knee-jerk reactions to our opinions being challenged: we fight, flee, or faint.

We fight: defend, get aggressive, deny any other possibility.

We flee: ignore the challenge, leave the room (literally), “forget” the comment

We faint: make nice, give in to “please,” go along to get along.

A compelling alternative to all three of these instinctive reactions is to follow Judith E. Glaser’s recommendation:

“Clarify the conflict by talking through each partyʼs stance. For example, “You seem to be suggesting that we really need to focus on elevating our gross revenue before we invest in a new IT strategy. Is that right?” or “It seems like weʼre envisioning two different levels of risk. Tell me more about what youʼre seeing as the downside.”

Requesting clarity is a great way to bypass defending, ignoring or pleasing and get to the real heart of the matter: what is of value in your employee/co-worker’s opinion?

Because that is what is important to your success and the success of your business.