A Competitive Advantage as a Strategy To Improve Employee Engagement

What would happen if tomorrow your employees improved their employee engagement – even a little bit more engaged – maybe just 25 or 30 percent more. What if they were all aligned (or at least reading from the same book), then working as one to attain a shared vision? What impact would that have on product quality? Do you think customer service could improve? How innovative could they be? The result is an improved bottom line and begins with you.

You may be saying to yourself, “How does all of this translate to a strategy to improve employee engagement?” Let’s start with the good news. You are in control of your business’s or department’s destiny. Just a small change, only one change from you can do the trick.

It is your job as the leader to develop an environment where employees are motivated to be engaged and to provide the tools needed to accomplish their role in the organization.

It is also your role to guide anyone not keenly engaged and aligned with the same vision to find greener pastures, as they say. Once you’ve led them where they need to go, you need to give those who choose not to follow the opportunity to find another position where they can be aligned.

In his best-selling book The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business, Patrick Lencioni states that a healthy culture – not a more important strategy, faster innovation, or more intelligent employee – is the real, lasting competitive advantage. By the way, I agree and highly recommend the book!

The foundation for creating healthy cultures lies with the manager and the management team. So, where to start?

Step 1: Cultivate Self-awareness Strategy to Improve Employee Engagement

Start with cultivating self-awareness – with a real understanding of your strengths and non-strengths as a manager or leader. You should also be clear about your vision, as well as the outcomes and objectives you want to achieve. If not clear, how can you expect your team to be clear about what they should be accomplishing?

Step 2: Unite As a Leadership Team

I see a lot of organizations where a management team is not on the same page or even the same book. This lack of alignment leads to a failure to make decisions, an unclear message delivered to the team, and a lack of throughput. At best, this lack of cohesiveness outcomes in the group innocently going different ways – believing they are championing the company’s vision. At its worst, this results in your team aggressively pursuing programs. Invest in developing a cohesive leadership team allows your staff development dollars to have a real impact.

Step 3: Look at the World Through the Eyes of Your Customers (or Employees)

Do you genuinely understand your staff? Their strengths and non-strengths, values, and goals. We all see the world in your way, and those differences influence what we do, see, and that you believe. It is like we are all viewing the world through different colored lenses. You need to be able to look through the lenses of each member of your team. What environment will motivate them to be engaged on an individual basis? How can you communicate with each of them in a way they will hear you and your message? How can you help meet their goals a way that enables you to make the overall goals of the organization or department? (As a side note, that strategy to improve employee engagement means also seeing through the eyes of your customers.)

Step 4: Adapt to Meet the Needs of Each Team Member (or Customer)

Adapting to meet the needs of each team member is perhaps the greatest challenge of all. Great leaders are not one dimensional. Effective leaders adjust their approach to meet the requirements of each other. They meet them where they are, take them and lead them to water. Great leaders their staff see the vision and how it benefits them as well as their department or organization.

Step 5: Multi-dimensional Leaders or Salespeople – Which Will You Become?

Multi-dimensional leaders (or salespeople) should complete the free “8 Dimensions of Leadership Map” on the website. Contact me to get your free access code. Based on the Everything DiSC® model, this map is a fantastic place to start developing self-awareness – even if you are now leading a group. Over twenty-five years ago, I took my first DiSC profile assessment. I was a new, young manager and I have to say that it changed my career direction. It can improve the direction for you, your business or your department as well.

Want to learn more about helping dissolve barriers to success, unlocking the possibility of your staff, and employing the power of teamwork? Find out more about making a strategy to improve employee engagement by signing up for our monthly newsletter.