Wednesday, May 18, 2011

There Is a Better Way to Manage Your Employees

In the last few blogs, I’ve been talking about employee engagement and how valuable engaged employees can be to your organization. Study after study demonstrates how engaged employees work both harder and smarter. They provide better customer service and enhance customer satisfaction. They add directly to the bottom line through increased productivity and the reduced costs of employee turnover. Yet, these same studies show that less than one-third of US employees are fully engaged and nearly 20% are actively disengaged. The remainder are marginally engaged, but could be more fully engaged…if only someone would engage them.

For decades the belief has been that the best way to get production from your team was through the “carrot and stick” approach. People were offered a carrot to produce and if that didn’t work, we hit them with a stick. Motivation was seen as offering rewards for performance or threatening people with the loss of their jobs. Often, successful executives specialized in rants and tirades; the louder and more colorful, the better. Intimidation of employees was common and thought to be a way to gain respect. And, of course, these methods of motivation will often produce short term results.

But we are in business for the long term.

Studies of motivation, employee engagement, and emotional intelligence have proven that there are better ways to lead your team. People are inherently good and creative and are willing to work hard for what they believe in. When properly encouraged, they are anxious to demonstrate what they are capable of doing and will also work well with others.

At this point you might be thinking to yourself, “What has this guy been smoking? I’ve been leading people for years and they simply aren’t motivated. In fact, they seem to do as little as possible, usually just enough to avoid getting fired. I can’t trust them and I certainly can’t expect this team to work together unless I literally force teamwork on them.”

Unfortunately, this thought process is way too common in our world today. And it’s not that you are wrong for thinking this. It’s just that your team has developed the traits of disengagement over a long period of time; possibly before they even came to work for you. Changing their attitude and getting your team engaged is no easy task. It requires a lot of dedication and hard work on your part to change not only your perceptions of what they are capable of, but also their perceptions of what you are trying to accomplish.

Is it worth the effort?

The statistics alone make it worth while to invest in yourself and your team to try and raise their level of engagement. Even more importantly is the fact that it is just easier and more fun to lead a team of engaged employees than it is to lead a team of disengaged employees. When your team is engaged they work harder without you having to push them. They are more creative without all of the ideas having to come from you. They treat your customers better, meaning that you get more repeat business. And, you have more time to spend doing the things you want to do versus the things you believe you have to do.

We’ll talk a little bit about this transition and how to create an engaged team in upcoming segments.

At ECI Learning Systems LLC, we are dedicated to helping companies get the greatest return from their most valuable asset: their employees. We work with you to align 3 key organizational factors:
•Your Company Culture
•The Leadership Styles of your key managers
•The Expectations of your Employees

When these 3 factors are aligned, you create an energy in your company that improves productivity, reduces absenteeism, increases creativity, and positively impacts your bottom line. Contact ECI Learning Systems LLC today to get your free Workplace Evaluation.

Until next time.....

Dave Meyer
ECI Learning Systems, LLC

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