Leaders, 5 Legacy Attitudes to Replace for Employee Engagement
by Kate Nasser |
As The People-Skills Coach™, leaders often ask me why they haven’t been able to engage employees.
In many cases, I discover that their attitude and communication is one of several reasons. In fact, there are 5 legacy attitudes to replace for employee engagement.
I see leaders holding on to these legacy attitudes when they are solely focused on results and not the teams who must get there. They also do it when they assume that the people they lead are just like them.
These leaders succeed when they shift their philosophical beliefs. They engage employees much better once they see that people are diverse and that employee engagement does not block, reduce, or delay results.
Employee engagement drives results through inspiration and nourishes commitment to the highest quality, best results.
Your communication, people-skills, and interpersonal connection engage with employees to that end.
Leaders, Replace These 5 Legacy Attitudes to Engage Employees
- Prove me wrong. Although this sounds like an inspirational challenge to employees, it also smacks of the legacy attitude — “I, the leader, am right until or unless you prove me wrong.” Change the focus from you to the idea in question. Engage employees around ideas and results, not around you.
- “If that’s all you can do.” As changes in business require new skills of employees, they often struggle with how to stay competent and feel competent. On more than one occasion, I have heard managers say to these concerned employees, “well if that’s all you can do … ” (meaning their current skill).
This legacy attitude of questioning employees’ competence does not make them work harder. The issue is not effort; it’s skill redevelopment. They are already concerned about their continued competence. Lift them up and engage them with diverse opportunities to learn new skills. Disdain does not engage!
- No news is good news. This not-so-golden legacy nugget is based on the idea that employees should routinely do what they are initially told until further orders arrive. Yikes – the assembly line approach to people! Can’t you just picture the little people widgets rolling along?
Meanwhile, communicating engages employees for best results. It gives them information about focus and purpose, and it inspires commitment to results. Engage with knowledge on how the company makes money. Offer worthy kudos for their specific talents that contributed to the end results.
- Work things out for yourselves – you’re adults. Leaders who want to focus primarily on end results often side step team issues under the guise of empowerment. One recent article (the URL for which I cannot find at this moment) claims we should “take the bubble wrap off employees” and let them work everything out themselves.
Leaders, aren’t you employees too? Why not share your special insight to help reduce conflict and re-engage the team on the end result?
When you overlook team issues, success overlooks your teams. Abandonment is not a success strategy.
- If you don’t see me doing it, don’t do it. Wow — the Simons Says approach to 21st century success. Leaders, will this attract top talent to your team? It might get you obedient followers but that burdens you with creating all the success.
If you want collaborative innovators who use their talent and acumen to produce success — replace Simon Says with something at least at the level of Pictionary! It’s much more engaging. (What game would you suggest?)
Communicating how employees’ contributions advance the company’s greatness, nourishes greatness. Anaerobic bacteria are the only things that grow in a vacuum; people and businesses don’t.
If your personality or experience makes you highly engaged and focused on results, you may make the classic mistake of assuming all employees are just as engaged. Yet if they were you wouldn’t wonder why they aren’t.
Focus on the reality of today’s leadership requirements. Engage employees through knowledge of the business, training, appreciation, and accountability to draw out maximum contribution to the best end results.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™
Related Post: Leaders, Take This Pain Free Journey to Engaging Employee Accountability
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on customer service & experience, teamwork, employee engagement, and leading change. Kate turns interaction obstacles into business success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.