Here are five key things every leader should do every day to increase their effectiveness in engaging and motivating their employees.
- Communicate: Leaders must know how to effectively communicate through all levels of the organization – the right communication, with the right amount of information, at the right time.
Be honest when things aren’t going well in the company. Don’t scare the employees but let them know what’s happening and what the plans are to get back on track. Keeping things behind closed doors only worries employees and increases anxiety and de-motivates them. Some communications may be written memos sent via email, in other cases face-to-face conversations work best, and for others, small group or one-on-one meetings might be most effective. If sales targets have been met for a quarter or a particular group has solved a problem with a client, share the information across the organization. As an example, during last winter’s storms, one of Abudi Consulting Group’s clients, the CEO of the organization, reached out to employees via email regularly to thank them for their efforts in getting in to the office during the storm. He also provided free breakfasts and lunches as well as ensured those employees who could not get home had a place to stay.
- Get out of the corner office: Leaders need to walk around among employees; not just sit in their office waiting for employees to come to them. Take a walk about the office – see how employees are doing. Get to know them. Ask about their family, an upcoming event, or what they did over the weekend. Attend department meetings – learn what’s going on within each department and what challenges they face. If employees are remote, arrange virtual meetings to check in with them. For remote offices, be sure to visit them on occasion!
- Praise employees: Know what projects employees are working on and their accomplishments. Praise them for work well done! Make it personal (one-on-one) and public (via the company’s internal site, via a newsletter, in a staff or all hands meeting.) If a project did not go well, let them know it happens. Talk to them about what happened and how it could be done better next time.
- Don’t micromanage your direct reports: Let people do their jobs – be there to support them, guide them and encourage them, but don’t look over their shoulders constantly – let them get to the end result in their own way. Set the goals they need to achieve and be sure that you share your vision for the company. Meet with them to see how things are progressing – offer your assistance if needed. Be practical about what can be accomplished. But be ready to roll up your sleeves and pitch in to help when needed!
- Develop a true team environment: Create an environment and culture where working as a team is valued and encouraged; where individuals work together to solve problems and help move the organization forward. Individuals who will challenge each other and support each other in a collaborative and supportive manner. While as a leader you want to recognize individual efforts, place more of an emphasis on team efforts. Enable for employees from across the organization to work together on a variety of initiatives that will enable for achieving strategic goals.
A leader’s responsibility is to engage and motivate employees. This is done through sharing a vision for the organization and communicating in ways that works for employees – sharing information about the organization, the strategic plan and business issues that they may be able to contribute to resolving. The more engaged leaders are in the organization, they more likely that top talent is retained and employees remain committed to the goals of the organization and its vision.