Ren茅e 馃悵 Cormier

5 years ago 路 5 min. reading time 路 ~10 路

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Can You Inspire and Engage Employees?

Can You Inspire and Engage Employees?

Renée Cormier PR Services
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What does a business owner or manager have to do to get people聽motivated these days? Are Millennials聽really that lazy and entitled? Are Boomers truly destined to work arduously in jobs they hate? 聽It is a fact that strong leaders know how to maximize the strengths of their people by keeping communication channels open. That sounds like such a trite phrase, doesn鈥檛 it? You鈥檝e heard that line lots of times before but what does it really mean? Most of us understand the concept of open communication, but the practical aspect can sometimes be a mystery. How can a business leader effectively use communication to inspire and engage their people? Suddenly, I find myself conjuring up images of a great orator and CEO leading his people by calling out from the top of a glass and metal staircase. All the little people below are filled with admiration and enthusiasm, their bright faces beaming with anticipation聽of the next big project.聽If it were only that simple.

Ideally, an engaged and inspired workforce is what you want because the truth is, they will make fewer errors, save more customers, go after opportunities, contribute creatively, and advocate ferociously for your business. They also tend to stay around much longer than their disengaged counterparts. That聽revolving door of employees you've got going on causes serious workflow disruption and is very costly to your business.聽

Employees quit their jobs for many reasons (some of which are unavoidable), but some of the most common reasons are really about the level of communication between employees and the boss. The most common, yet avoidable reasons for employee churn are:

Feeling underutilized, bored, unchallenged

Boss is a jerk (abusive, dismissive, passive aggressive, unavailable etc.)

Poor performance feedback system (or non-existent)

Feelings of isolation (no friends at work, hostile work environment)

Don鈥檛 feel like they can make a meaningful contribution (don鈥檛 know how they fit into the larger objectives of the business)

Inept or insufficient equipment to do good work (frustrated)

Employers need to be aware of the circumstances that cause discord between company leaders and employees in order to effectively find ways to rectify the situation. The above examples are things that can easily be mended through effective communication tactics. Read on to discover ways to mend those broken relationships in your company.

Explore Strengths: Have you ever had a job where you felt your best skills were being ignored or underutilized? It makes your work very frustrating and unfulfilling. Quite often people get hired for what is on their resume and no thought is ever given to where the candidates鈥 talents actually lie. Part of your hiring process should include a strengths assessment, such as StrengthsFinder. Use this with existing employees as well. Speaking to your employees about their strengths assessment results, their interests and career goals will allow you to ensure that you have the right people in right job and doing great work, too! Not doing this could cause you to lose good people to your competitors.

Build Trust: Good leaders know how to treat people with respect and earn the trust of those around them. Bosses with a bad attitude cost companies a ton of money. Every time someone quits, it costs you three to five times their salary to replace them. Yes, it does! Every time you have to train a new employee it costs you money. Plus, you will lose money through their ignorance, mistakes, oversights, slowness, lost customers who follow them, and a million other places. Great leaders take an interest in the well-being of their people, have conversations with them, include them in meetings, ask for input and allow them to have balance in their lives. Keep your promises. Be trustworthy. Focus on acting with integrity. Apply human relations principles by treating other humans with compassion, fairness and interest. No dismissing, belittling, excluding, or demanding allowed. Have you got your employees鈥 backs? They will only have yours if they trust you.

Acknowledge Performance: Employee performance must be monitored, if for no other reason, to provide you with the opportunity to give constructive feedback. In order to do a good job, we need to have a point of reference. Clear set expectations, key performance indicators, formal employee reviews and daily 鈥渁tta boys鈥 are vital to the success of your business and will keep your employees feeling valued and focused. Did you know that giving no feedback is as bad for performance as giving only negative feedback? It鈥檚 true. I鈥檝e done the experiment myself millions of times while I was teaching leadership skills in my previous career. The results never wavered.

Pay Attention to the Environment: A friendly work place is a wonderful workplace. If you have ever had to work in a place where everyone undermined everyone else, then you know how horrible it can be. Imagine having to work in a place where you can鈥檛 trust anyone because you are surrounded by back stabbers and scapegoat seekers. Make sure you cultivate a secure and friendly work environment by being a model of kindness and openness. Encourage mentorships and partnerships, and be sure to allow people at work to socialize over office lunches and after hours events. Have a zero tolerance policy around workplace harassment and bullying.

Have Great Tools: Great leaders understand the value of making sure employees have all the necessary tools to do their work with excellence. Not having the tools to do good work is probably the most frustrating thing an employee could ever endure. I once had to work in a company that was too cheap to replace anything. I had a computer that needed to be rebooted several times per day, a fax machine that used thermal paper when nobody used thermal paper and a telephone on my desk that didn鈥檛 even work half the time! It was really hard to get anything done and to keep a positive attitude. Interestingly, people鈥檚 frustration with the company and the lack of value placed on their people (as demonstrated through their cheapness) served to make the entire company environment toxic. I never worked with a more hateful group of people in my life.

Usually sickness in any environment isn鈥檛 confined to a single area. What you say to your employees non-verbally is even more important than what you say verbally. If the unspoken word is 鈥淚 don鈥檛 care how you feel,鈥 then nothing you say will help the matter. Actions do speak louder than words, so make sure you:

Walk around and talk to the people who work for you.

Give them a reporting system so they can easily communicate system, process and equipment failures.

Allow them to make suggestions for improvement.

Create a safe environment where grievances can be heard without negative repercussions.

Make a point of honouring your employees鈥 skills and talents my maximizing them.

Never let a moment pass to offer a kind word and some encouragement.

Encourage contributions to your strategic plan from across the organization.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.聽
John Quincy Adams

Check out my other beBee blogs!

Few public relations & communications specialists have as diverse a background as Ren茅e Cormier. Add published author, employee engagement specialist, sales and marketing strategist, entrepreneur and educator to her list of accomplishments. In her career Ren茅e has held leadership roles in sales and marketing, developed and implemented national marketing strategies and was responsible for teams as large as 28 strong. She brings a wide range of experience and talent to her work.

Ren茅e really shines in communications. She is known for developing and implementing comprehensive communications strategies and generating results through flawless implementation. With such strong business acumen, passion for her work and a natural talent for business strategy, Ren茅e is definitely considered an important resource for her clients. Is your business in transition? Do you need help with your communications or public relations efforts? Contact聽Ren茅e through her website.

Follow me on Twitter @reneecormierpr.


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Ren茅e 馃悵 Cormier

5 years ago #13

Yes, absolutely, , and the opposite is true as well. Mentoring and actually leading people is highly motivating!

Mohammed Abdul Jawad

5 years ago #12

Motivating others is one of the best ways to mentor and lead people!
Shared on Twitter! #HRtech

Javier 馃悵 CR

5 years ago #9

Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier sharing .. !!!!!!

Ren茅e 馃悵 Cormier

5 years ago #8

#8 #9 Thanks!

John White, MBA

5 years ago #7

I'm always glad to buzz great content, Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier!

Ren茅e 馃悵 Cormier

5 years ago #6

Thanks for sharing, John White, MBA!

Ren茅e 馃悵 Cormier

5 years ago #5

Graham\ud83d\udc1d Edwards could you please help me circulate this?

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #4

Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier A pleasure Renee. It is an excellent article.

Ren茅e 馃悵 Cormier

5 years ago #3

Thanks for the share, Gert Scholtz!

Ren茅e 馃悵 Cormier

5 years ago #2

Thank you, David. You are absolutely right. According to Gallup, disengaged employees cost US companies over $300 billion each year and poor leadership is the primary cause which means it is completely preventable. Thanks for your input and for sharing!

David B. Grinberg

5 years ago #1

Thanks for this buzzing blog post, Renee, filled with awesome advice on how to foster employee engagement. This is an especially important issue for companies because studies by SHRM and other groups show that employee engagement is very low generally, which hurts company loyalty, job morale, and bottom-line productivity. As you note, strong leadership is necessary to engage employees. Moreover, I would note that leadership starts at the top (CEO and/or C-Suite) and trickles down to mid-level and front line managers. You provide some potent points and astute advice for executives to explore and implement. Nice buzz!

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