When You Need More From Your Staff, You Need to Better Engage With Them

By Heather Campbell

By Heather Campbell >>

Your staff are the people who ensure your organisation’s success.  No matter how much time and money you invest in developing strategies and processes, your employees implement them and deliver results.  If your people aren’t happy, they will be less effective in their roles, and your organisation will struggle to fulfil its potential.

Of course, if your current staff aren’t effective, you can look to replace them – but more often than not this is a short-term and expensive strategy which simply papers over cracks. A better solution is to focus on building employee engagement.

Most business leaders know they need to better engage staff if they are to get the results they are seeking.  It’s simply that they don’t know where to begin and think the whole process will be extremely complicated.

They often think they have to completely overhaul their communication processes and invest a substantial sum into going back to basics, teaching all of their staff some ‘hidden secrets’ about communication and engagement.

The truth is, for most organisations, it’s simply a matter of ensuring that when you engage with staff, you apply some core communication skills. And chances are they are ones you learned at primary school, if not before!

So what are these core elements? Well, consider conversations you have had with your team recently.

Did you listen respectfully to what they were saying? That means not just listening to their first few sentences and then second-guessing what they were going to say, but actually sitting quietly and listening to what they had to tell you?

When you responded, did you think about their needs and feelings? Was the tone you used aggressive or abrupt? Was there an underlying implication that their points weren’t relevant? Did you put them down in front of others? If their views weren’t aligned with yours, did you seriously consider that they could be right?

Were you willing to share information, answering their questions openly and honestly, treating them like the adults they are? Or did you treat them more like children, holding back information out of a misguided intent to protect them from reality or fear that perhaps they can’t be trusted to handle the truth?

Your people are adults, worthy of respect, trust and honesty. And each and every member of staff within your organisation contributes to its success. It doesn’t matter what role they have, how much they get paid or what their responsibilities are – they all contribute.

And the simple fact is, if you want to ensure you’re getting real commitment from your staff, you need to be certain that you really know how to engage with them. Engaged staff are motivated staff. And motivated staff are exactly what will make your organisation a success.

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