5 Smart Ways To Get Your Team To Step Up


The next time you’re in a company meeting, look around the room. Chances are, two out of three people there isn’t happy on the job. This sobering thought comes from a recent “State of the American Workplace” survey by Gallup, which reported that only 33 percent of U.S. employees are engaged with their work.

What does it mean for a business to have a majority of its employees disengaged? Typically, teams will fall apart as disgruntled workers spread discontent. If no one takes action, that can lead to poor performance and a high rate of attrition.

According to Gallup’s calculations, there are high costs to disengagement—up to 34 percent of a person’s salary. That means a manager making $100,000 is wasting $34,000 simply because he’s not psychologically invested in the organization’s mission, vision or culture. That’s a compelling reason to reexamine your game plan for motivating employees.

Go Beyond a Bigger Paycheck

Surprisingly, the key to solving the problem of disengaged workers isn’t simply to pay them more. (Greater compensation may not even be a viable solution if you’re already paying competitive wages.) A more effective way to get employees back on track is to encourage and reward better collaboration, attitudes and productivity.

Consider what motivates the people on your team. A negative, underperforming sales representative might actually value the opportunity to earn extra paid time off more than she values a salary boost. Perhaps a weekend vacation at a cool bed-and-breakfast would improve someone’s mood—and numbers. Another employee might be more productive if he had a flexible schedule. You won’t really know until you ask.

Of course, unearthing team members’ core motivations isn’t the only way to ensure your company culture is engaging. These other strategies can help.

1. Hire well and fire fast.

Netflix has become the poster child for talent management, and that’s no accident. According to Patty McCord, the company’s former chief talent officer, the company’s success comes from prioritizing recruitment and knowing when to let unhappy people go. “Let’s ebb and flow and make sure that when we are together, we are accomplishing amazing stuff with other incredible people whom we respect,” McCord says.

By developing a rigorous and consistent process to bring the brightest, most naturally engaged folks into the fold, you’ll keep raising the bar. You’ll also discover that some people aren’t motivated to do their best work and need a change. When that happens, don’t delay the tough discussions; instead, let unmotivated employees transition in a respectful way to something more engaging.

2. Offer incentives that make everyone feel empowered.

The managing director of national private equity firm Blackford Capital, Jeff Johnson, knows it’s essential to engage people by incentivizing them in ways that support the company’s core culture. “We attempt to make every employee think and act like an owner—which empowers them to make good decisions and focus on efficiency,” he explains. “We look to tie bonus plans to specific programs to drive profitable growth within a company. These bonus programs are not only geared toward the executive management teams but also the hourly workers on the shop floor.”

Not sure which incentives to consider? Johnson uses flextime, day care and other differentiators such as transportation solutions to retain superstars and avoid losing momentum.

3. Set clear goals to improve accountability.

Google’s culture is the envy of many CEOs. What’s its secret? The company doesn’t mess around when it comes to setting individual and team goals. Objectives are crystal clear thanks to a corporation-wide Objectives and Key Results (OKR) program. The system encourages employees to commit to tough but attainable objectives—and Google makes sure all employees can see and understand how they connect to the company’s most important goals. In this way, everyone is both aligned and accountable.

Setting clear goals creates a standard with built-in accountability. This visibility drives engaged employees toward the collective goal line and either motivates disengaged employees or makes it clear to them that it’s time to move on.

4. Share the purpose of work.

Too often, employees don’t understand why their work matters. Connecting the dots from daily tasks to company goals will make work more meaningful, which goes a long way in engaging workers.

According to research compiled by executive search firm Acertitude, 77 percent of employees feel strongly that open communication and an understanding of the company’s future direction contribute to their engagement. An overwhelming 82 percent want to see the big picture: What’s the point of my job within the larger organization?

For example, a customer service representative isn’t just listening to people complain; he’s making the customer’s life easier by solving product or user problems.

Many CEOs find it easier to talk about finance and data points, but it’s just as important to discuss the greater impact of tasks on your organization’s mission. This is where people find meaning in their work.

5. Keep employees’ skills fresh.

Another way to bolster employee engagement is to give team members a chance to learn new skills by offering anything from on-site workshops to tuition reimbursement. (The latter option isn’t free, but it may well be preferable to wasting a third of someone’s salary!)

Well-rounded workers with expansive knowledge in a variety of fields tend to bring new ideas to the table. They also appreciate that you’ve investing in them and will want to use what they have learned. Remember that just because a course doesn’t directly affect a staff member’s current position doesn’t mean it can’t be useful to your company. You may need the skill sometime down the line—or you may simply benefit from having a happier, more confident worker on your payroll.

If lackluster performance and disengagement is hurting your bottom line, consider making these systematic process and cultural changes. Once all your people are motivated and aligned with your company’s mission, you can sit back and watch as your team does incredible things.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertglazer/2018/10/10/5-smart-ways-to-get-your-team-to-step-up/#3b0c5e4e4f11

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *