The Wilson Agency, A UBA Partner Firm
I once worked for a man who seemed to have a great sense of how to connect with me on a personal level without getting too personal or forgetting the task at hand. He challenged me when I was faced with something that was hard to do (like confronting my disrespectful coworker) and supported me both when I needed it the most (a flex schedule when my first child was born) and when I least expected it (a raise that was out of the blue). I was very happy and satisfied working with him. As a result, I had, and continue to have, the utmost respect for this person. I made sure that when I went to work, I gave it my all and then some.
As you read this story I hope that you can recall someone in your career that did the same with you. This is the epitome of Employee Engagement. That kind of dedication, belief and commitment is what helps to set apart the mediocre from the excellent. In recent years, Employee Engagement has gotten a lot more attention. After all, our world continues to get smaller and more competitive and the ability to differentiate our business from our competition through our employees can make the biggest difference. Indeed, it can make all the difference.
Unfortunately, a great number of employees don’t feel this connection. A recent study found that “only 29% of employees are fully engaged while 26% are disengaged.” It went on to report that a key driver is the relationship with the immediate supervisor. One of my favorite sayings is that people don’t leave companies, they leave managers. As a leader, your ability to know what makes people tick and turn that into inspiration for your staff is a cornerstone of effectiveness. But, it doesn’t have to be just the people you supervise. The attitude you bring to the office is noticed and ripples out affecting others, whether they’re aware of it or not. As human being we crave connection, validation, and meaning. When we feel it from others, our response is natural and automatic.
Check yourself everyday and ask if you’re bringing your best. If do, others will surely follow; maybe not immediately, but inevitably.