If you want to generate some positive energy in your workforce, here are three easy things you can do that can make a difference right away:
Use their names.
Open every conversation—whether by email, phone or in person – with your employee’s name. Not only does this guarantee his/her attention, it also reminds you that you are talking to a living, breathing person. Too many emails start in mid-sentence, as though speaking at, not to or with, the other person. Even in person, our tendency is to focus on our thoughts about the topic at hand rather than the person with us. This simple form of recognition can make a tremendous difference. It ensures that you not only have the other person’s attention, but that you make a personal connection that results in improved collaboration, respect and trust.
Inspect what you expect, and expect the best.
One of the vice presidents at a global organization in Minneapolis says that she expects to see courage, collaboration and curiosity in her employees. She goes out looking for these attributes every day and says that not only does she find them, but she supports them with whatever resources she can. Choose characteristics that represent your own or your company’s highest values; then go treasure hunting. In addition to encouraging both employee competency and confidence, you will build a mental library of inspiring stories to use for team building, presentations, and developing talent (including yourself).
Talk about what’s going right.
Fires and problems always arise, but in most workplaces on most days, the vast majority of what’s happening is that intelligent, competent people are doing their jobs capably and to the best of their ability. At the end of each day or week, review what went well and how you can build on it. Solicit your employees’ insights on what made things go right, not wrong. Regularly value their expertise and honor their contributions to your company’s continued success.
While systemic drivers of disengagement, like bureaucratic processes, antiquated systems or stressed capacity may be out of your control, these three simple ideas will help you build influence and impact where and when it’s needed most and can help you maximize the effectiveness of your team.