Those who run companies (listen carefully, this might be you) complain about employees that don’t do what they are supposed to. Leaders grumble about a staff that doesn't care, employees that aren’t loyal and people who only see the job as a means to a pay cheque. Management gets frustrated when the team wastes time and money. These are everyday criticisms from bosses.
What if perhaps, all of that is true AND that a large part of the reason for that reality is that employees behave like that as a result of how the leaders treat them? What if one of those leaders is you? Ouch right?
You get what you expect
Have you ever heard the expression “You get what you expect?” There is a lot of truth to that in your marriage, in your friendships and as well in your employee’s commitment and effort they put towards the company.
Our expectations inform our actions
The expectations we have come out in the way we as leaders behave. Our interactions with our employees communicate the beliefs we have.
So let us just assume for a moment, that there is a different way.
We are born learners. We move what we are learning from our heads to our hearts, to our hands.
Employees hearts are impacted, positively or negatively by what their leaders expect
If we simply demand, yell, lecture, threaten and ridicule staff, they will feel deflated, defensive, angry and apathetic. You get, what you expect.
Expect engaged employees
If you are looking instead to have energized, engaged and dedicated staff who truly care about the work they are doing, you must connect what is happening for them to their heart, in a good way.
Here are 3 ways to start change your impact on your employees:
1) See your employees as individuals
They are not just an employee number, a warm body or somebody to delegate work to. They are a human being. They have feelings. They have lives. They do care. If you want them to care more, about the same things you care about, treat them with respect.
2) See their strengths and their potential
We are all gifted with qualities, skills, and traits. Each of us is unique. Even though we may have the same title and be doing the same job duties, each one will do it in their own distinctive way.
3) Invest in them
Give your employee’s your time and energy. I am not talking 2 hours of uninterrupted time. It could be 5 minutes of uninterrupted time. But that time could be invaluable to them.
Taking responsibility for your expectations
Seeing the role you play in your employee’s attitude is the first step to changing the connection your staff have to their day-to-day work. It starts with you. Recognize your expectations play a huge role in how you act and then subsequently how your team acts. Work to motivate and inspire your staff by seeing them as individuals, seeing the potential within them by drawing on their strengths and then invest in them. When you make these shifts, you and the team will experience more success and enjoyment in the work you do.
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If you have ever sat through a dry, boring, longwinded staff meeting, you know the pain I am talking about. You too have felt the agony of trying to sit still and remain professional whilst you body is screaming at you to break free. If this sounds at all familiar and you are now the one running the meetings, keep reading. You likely know it’s time for you to try some creative ways to engage your staff and here are some quick tips.
I used to sneak to the washroom during meetings
Many times in a senior management meeting, I’d listen so someone drone on about something that we’d talked about a zillion times before. As they did, my mind wandered to all of the other things I could be doing if I wasn’t “wasting” my time in the meeting. I was less than engaged for sure!
I wasn't the only one looking for a distraction during meetings
When it began to feel like my fidgeting was becoming obvious and annoying to my colleagues on either side of me, I’d excuse myself to go to the bathroom. I’d drag the trip down the hall a little longer than necessary, to simply avoid the pain of heading back to the meeting. I wasn’t the only one who struggled. Others would excuse themselves to make an “important” call when they’d had enough.
Perhaps you the one now running the meeting
You’ve probably attended many of these meetings in your life. I bet you have felt that sticking a pencil in your eye might be less painful than enduring another hour of the required regular meeting. Yet, at this point in some organizations, certain meetings are mandatory. If you are now in charge of running some meetings, you might be unsure of how to get the necessary messages across without annoying everyone in attendance.
If you understand the true purpose for meetings, you will never run a meeting the same way again
Here is the thing, some meetings are necessary, that is true. However not all meetings are useful. The key to running engaging meetings is recognizing the true value of most meetings is relationship building rather than information sharing.
You could try to only share information, it might not work so well
Most information covered at a meeting could be covered in an email. Alternately, you could hand everyone a paper at the beginning of the meeting and say, “Please read this and sign off that you’ve read it.” You may include new information, some updates and you might possibly add a multiple choice question at the bottom for feedback on the one item that really needs feedback.
Attendees of a meeting are looking to build relationships
Now if you ran a meeting like that, it would seem cold. You would appear like a robot running the meeting. We don’t run meetings that way, because as I said, meetings are truly about relationships. We want to get to know employees. Staff are trying to build up working relationships with their colleagues. Often times, we are looking for employee’s opinions. Truthfully, we should also be trying to engage staff. Meetings should also be an opportunity for employees to feel that they do make a difference in the organization and that the work they do matters.
Knowing that, here are 5 ways to make meeting more engaging for your staff
Build relationships and you will have engagement
Employee engagement begins with relationship building . If your employees are not engaged in your meeting, you are wasting your time. Get the engagement by really including them. Be clear the meeting is about building relationships and structure it so that it truly can aide in that.
Question: Which one of these suggestions will you try at your next meeting? Make a comment below and let me know how it went.
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