You undoubtedly have employees on your team that you know are capable of giving more effort than they actually do. But what’s the secret to creating highly motivated employees?
A number of my recent articles have addressed employee engagement, citing research that shows only approximately 30% of today’s workforce to be fully engaged and names poor leadership as the root cause. For more on this, please visit my article “Profit Leak 2 — Is Poor Leadership Holding Your Company Back?”
Have you ever noticed that some leaders have team members that give extraordinary levels of effort and work harder than everyone else, which seems unexplainable? I have been watching a number of leaders carefully over the last several years who seem to consistently get employees to rise to incredible heights. My wife Sylvia is one of those people.
She is the supervisor over a government agency in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Here you have government employees, receiving below-market salaries, and have difficult jobs. They are asked to do a large volume of work, and most of the people that come in contact with them do not treat them respectfully. Sylvia’s team members regularly give extra effort, think ahead, constantly try to find better ways to do their jobs, work as a team, and always have her back. No one sees them as stereotypical government employees.
I have found that Sylvia and the other leaders I’ve been observing have one secret ingredient that causes their employees to be more motivated and results in unusual levels of employee engagement. They genuinely care! I am not talking about the bare minimum programmed birthday parties. Sylvia looks forward to bringing back everyone on her team little gifts from our vacations. Looks forward to taking everyone out for their birthdays (paid from her own pocket). She is up-to-date and interested in what is going on in everyone’s life and is there to help if anything is wrong or to celebrate when appropriate. She makes sure to say good morning to everyone when she comes in and goodbye when she leaves. For Sylvia they are all human beings that need to be taken care of. She fosters this amongst everyone, and this shared feeling of caring is what causes the engagement that happens in their workplace.
You cannot fake caring, and consistency is key! Arranging company picnics and other outings does not mean you care. These are nice gestures and foster interactions, but they do not demonstrate to people you care. Too often leaders are so busy they do not set aside enough time to pay attention, and this causes them to lose sight of what is going on with those around them. Not knowing what is going on and not caring definitely shows up in engagement levels. Great leaders care, and that caring is reciprocated with motivated and engaged employees.
If you are interested in improving how well your leadership team functions, let’s schedule a time to further discuss your business. Call Activate Group, one of the leading business coaches in the United States, for a FREE consultation 305.722.7213.