Employee Engagement Ideas for Managers

Employee Engagement Ideas for Managers
Employee Engagement

31 Employee Engagement Ideas for Managers

According to Gallup’s latest Employee Engagement Poll, 87% of the global workforce is disengaged. It’s now more important than ever to inspire, motivate and engage your leadership team. To do that you’ll want to appeal to what matters most to them. What follows is a list of key employee engagement ideas for managers, directors and senior executives alike.

  1. Align your employee’s values with their work or task at hand whenever possible. This is Employee Engagement Rule #1, because it is what motivates them beyond a paycheck.
  2. Ask for their feedback- all the time. Be open to modifying company policies, strategy and especially your leadership style so you can be more effective and empowering as a leader.
  3. Be clear and concise with your communication to them. Don’t ever assume they know what your saying unless there is proof otherwise.
  4. Over-communicate the information they need to work effectively. Ensure that they know exactly what your priorities and needs are right now. The most disengaged employees usually have no idea what they should be doing.
  5. As much as you can involve your direct reports whenever you are making an important decision- especially if their welfare is at stake.
  6. Have your leadership team co-create or help you modify your company’s new vision.
  7. Regarding the tasks they’ve been assigned make sure they:
    1. Are capable of doing them.
    2. Have sufficient time to complete them.
    3. Know why its important they do them.
    4. Get the necessary feedback so they can be successful with each task.
  8. Make sure your staff doesn’t feel too overwhelmed. Keep offering them support even when you think they don’t need it.
  9. Challenge any negativity in their mindset. For example:
    1. If they have a Limiting Belief about their ability to perform a task of role by asking them “How true is that really?” or “Where did you get that belief?”
    2. If they have an opinionated story about a person or situation that is impeding their effectiveness as a leader ask them: “What’s another way to look at that?” or “How would someone who could easily accomplish the task you find challenging see your situation?”
    3. When you hear a direct report making an assumption that limits them, curiously ask them “Just because that happened in the past, why must it happen again now?”
    4. Finally, when you hear an employee tell you: “I’m not cut out for this.” simply remind them that thats their Rogue Inner Critic that wants them to play small and play it safe.
  10. LISTEN to your direct reports as if they are the most important people in the world to you. This is the greatest gift you can give them, and yourself.
  11. When an employee is upset, don’t get defensive or take it personally. This will only escalate the situation. Simply acknowledge and validate their complaint or concern. Repeat back what you’ve heard so they know they’ve been heard. Often a simple acknowledgment that its completely understandable for them to feel that way is all they really want or need.
  12. Become a master at using empowering questions as often as possible. For example:
    1. What’s the worst that can happen?
    2. What do you want to accomplish.
    3. What have you learnt from that?
    4. What makes this important to you?
    5. How has it worked for you?
    6. What can you take away from that experience?
    7. What other options do you see?
    8. What else can you try?
    9. What’s another way of looking at that?
    10. What is your plan going forward?
    11. How can I support you?
  13. In smaller team meetings start by asking each staff member:
    1. What’s a success we can celebrate today?
    2. What else is going really well?
    3. What are some possible challenges you might be facing?
  14. Remind your colleagues how critical they are to the organization’s success.
  15. Publicly recognize and celebrate each employee’s success whenever the opportunity arises.
  16. Get their BUY-IN whenever you can by putting a choice in their hands.
  17. Remind your team members how their work is positively impacting a client or the organization.
  18. Make sure they know how much you and the company values, respects and appreciates them. The greatest leaders put their employees- not their customers- ahead of everyone else.
  19. Look for ways to cut the red tape by giving your employees more power to make frontline decisions. Your trust in them will help decrease your workload, increase their confidence and make your company more efficient.
  20. Don’t micromanage. Helicopter bosses often trigger a person’s insecurities and feeling of incompetence.
  21. Give them the autonomy they need. Consider hoteling opportunities so your employees can have more flexible work schedules.
  22. Without overwhelming them, make sure they are always challenged, and developing personally and professionally. Boredom is disengagement’s best friend.
  23. Give up you’re need to be right, even when you know you are! It takes a big person to swallow their ego.
  24. Raise their self esteem whenever you can. See the gifts and greatness in each of your employees.
  25. Be expressive with your emotions, but manage them. Raise your voice when praising. Lower it when reprimanding.
  26. Encourage your leaders to share their ideas on how to solve problems or make things better.
  27. Put your employees needs before others.
  28. Give them as much credit as possible whenever you can.
  29. Avoid ever using aggression or coercion to get what you want. Black mail and other intimidation tactics might work occasionally, but tyrannical leaders eventually lose the respect, trust and ability to lead those around them.
  30. Maintain a positive, energetic and enthusiastic attitude at all times. Your outlook and level of energy sets the standard to which others will aspire. Keep in mind that your mood sets the tone for your team: you don’t want a bad day completely depleting your employees’ morale.
  31. Find out what’s going on in their lives outside the office. Ask questions that show you’re interested in their families, wellbeing, etc.

Any one of these ideas will boost your employee engagement levels. Three or more and those employee engagement levels will skyrocket.

Ascanio Pignatelli is an employee engagement expert. He is an award winning speaker, seminar leader, coach, and author of the forthcoming book Lead from Need: Raising Employee Engagement from the Core. He is the founder of ApexCEO, an executive coaching and leadership development group that helps executives develop the leadership and communication skills to create more engaging workplaces. To find out how Ascanio can help your next speaking event or executive leadership / employee engagement workshops please call 310.913.2313.

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Raising Employee Engagement Levels

Raising Employee Engagement Levels
Raising Employee Engagement Levels

Employee Engagement: What’s Missing?

Companies today are wasting millions of dollars trying to raise employee engagement levels with little to no success. Most employee engagement programs don’t work. Why? Because they look to address the effect: disengaged employees, not the cause; disengaged leaders. Employees today are disengaged because they don’t feel connected to the leaders or the organizations they work with. Without a desire they become apathetic which leads to their lack of energy, and disengagement. Before your company can raise employee engagement levels, you and the leadership team will need to raise their energy levels.

Increasing Employee Engagement Levels with Energy Leadership

Energy LeadershipTM is a leadership system developed by iPEC that helps employees become more effective leaders by giving them a new perspective that helps them raise their own level of energy. Leadership is a function of engagement: as leaders become more engaging, they become more effective at inspiring, motivating and influencing themselves and their colleagues.

Energy Leadership is based on the concept that there are two types of energy and seven different levels. As a leader becomes aware, and capable of recognizing the various energies and levels, they are able to see the exact extent to which their employees are engaged. Each new perspective brings with it a new possibility, and a new way to engage rather than react to their employees.

Most leaders, as well as most organizations, are limited in their ability to fully engage their talent. Their leaders are overloaded with fear based energy that slowly breaks them, and their organizations down. The most effective leaders are those with high levels of anabolic energy, and low levels of catabolic energy. These leaders are able to respond to stress in a far more productive manner.

In the words of former Director of Clinical Neuropsychological Services at Temple University Hospital, R. K. Ebert, Ph.D.:

“Unmolested, this energy system maintains the body in a condition of maximal health and well- being. Disturbances in this system are brought about by repeated insults, waves of catabolic energy generated by consciousness. Thoughts, beliefs, values, principles, emotions, and behaviors associated with [lower] levels of consciousness are catabolic. Habitual repetition of conscious or unconscious thoughts in this range gradually engender energy disturbances, self perpetuating in nature, which ultimately manifests as disease.

Healing involves a shift in the energy generated by conscious and unconscious processes. This is most efficiently accomplished by neutralizing the energy of “low level” thoughts, by disrupting the catabolic pattern of thought energy. Each thought contributes a specific energy pattern to the energy field of our being. There are no idle thoughts. All thoughts have an energetic consequence. It is only a question of how your thoughts will affect you energetically. Catabolic energy injures, anabolic energy heals.

In this reality every individual possesses a characteristic Level of Consciousness that frames, or limits, both the perception of, and the response to, external reality.”

Seven Leadership Perspectives

Imagine you wake up one day to discover that you are living in a home that is seven stories tall with wrap-around balconies on each floor. As you ascend your home you find that each story has a different view of the surrounding neighborhood. Every balcony has a different perspective that offers you new choices, and allows you to lead yourself or others in a way that you might not have previously considered. The higher you rise, the more expansive the views- and the more energy you now have at your disposal. For example, from the third floor you have three views and three different choices, but from the seventh floor you now have seven unique options from which to choose.

We all live in these seven-story buildings, but few of us ever venture off the first few floors. The problem is the first few floors are catabolic (draining and destructive), and spending all of our time here limits our choices. Living on the bottom levels means we tend to react to our circumstances, not realizing we have other options available to us. Each higher perspective gives us increasing power and freedom and new ways to impact our organizations. Our Leadership Development System is a comprehensive program designed to help you view the world from each of these seven stories, so you can lead more effectively by consciously choosing the most advantageous approach. In our upcoming articles we will share what each of the seven levels looks like, and how each are impacting your leadership, as well as your organization.

Ascanio Pignatelli is an employee engagement expert. He is an award winning speaker, seminar leader, coach, and author of the forthcoming book Lead from Need: Raising Employee Engagement from the Core. He is the founder of ApexCEO, an executive coaching and leadership development group that helps executives develop the leadership and communication skills to create more engaging workplaces. To find out how Ascanio can help your next speaking event or executive leadership / employee engagement workshops please call 310.913.2313.

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Employee Engagement and Listening

Effective Listening Engages

In many ways, Adrian Aragon was a great CEO; hard-working and completely devoted to his staff and organization, but it was not until he analyzed his CEO performance review that he noticed the blind spot in his leadership: the gap between how he saw his communication, and how his employees were interpreting it. Committed to becoming a better communicator and more effective leader, Adrian met with an old colleague Ivana Smith, one of the finest leaders and communicators he had ever met. After scrutinizing his report for what seemed like an eternity, Ivana asked Adrian: “Why do you think so many of your employees believe you have a negative mindset and don’t communicate effectively with them?”

Adrian took a moment then muttered, “With all the stress it’s hard to always maintain a positive and enthusiastic attitude.”

Ivana nodded in agreement. “That’s true, being positive when stressed is a real challenge, however doing so will help lower your stress, increase your energy, and make you feel a lot better. It will also help set the tone for your entire company.”

“I guess you’re right. I should probably be more positive.”

“More positive yes, but the real key is to really listen to them. The most important part of communication is effective listening. Most of us are rather disengaged when we listen, but if you can really listen to what your employees are saying you will be able to build more trust and rapport with them, resolve more conflict and connect in a deeper way with them.”

Ivana is right. Effective listening does two things; it ensures that the sender’s communication has been received as intended, and it tells the sender that their communication has value. Employee engagement and listening go hand in hand. There’s an old saying, “Listening is love.” Great listeners are masters at making those they are listening to feel important, and perhaps on some deeper level, loved. To really connect with your staff and make them feel valued you’ll want to move towards empathetic listening.

Disengaged Listening

Have you ever had a conversation with someone you felt just didn’t get anything you said despite their involved contribution to the conversation? You probably sensed their minds were completely focused on what they wanted to say next, and not on absorbing and processing what you were saying. Well, that is disengaged listening, and most of the time although we might be hearing what’s being said, our minds are actually busy thinking about what to say next. Disengaged listening isn’t just responsible for corrupting the communication that’s being received; it leaves the speaker feeling unimportant.

To escape the disengaged listening trap, the next time you are having a conversation with someone begin to notice when your mind either starts to wander from the conversation or is thinking about what to say next. The simple act of bringing awareness to how you listen will make you a much better listener and leave those you communicate with feeling valued.

Engaged Listening

Engaged listening means listening without judgment, opinions, or preconceived notions. Engaged listening creates a space for others to really express what they are thinking without them feeling like they are being judged. It also ensures they are heard, and that their thoughts and feelings are important to you. You can become a more engaged listener by asking empowering questions; questions that probe, seek clarity, focus on solutions and put the power to solve a problem or challenge into the other person’s hands. For example, “How might you accomplish that?” or “What’s another way of seeing that?”

There is a direct link between employee engagement and how much those employees feel their company values them. Organizations that have created a culture that values its staff by listening to them in an engaged and nonjudgmental way will find its members reciprocating the value and respect they feel by raising their energy and level of engagement while at work. You can become a much more engaged listener by acknowledging and validating the feelings other people express to you the same way Ivana did with Adrian.

Empathetic Listening

This is the highest form of listening and will build strong ties with your employees if you master it. Empathetic listening is feeling what the other person is feeling through their communication. It includes deciphering body language, reading between the lines, listening for tonal discrepancies, and looking for what’s not being said as much as what’s being said.

Listening at such a high level lets the person who is speaking know that you’ve captured their emotional experience. Although empathetic listening requires considerable focus, effort and concentration, with enough practice it can become routine.

Adrian worked hard at being a more positive and effective communicator. He became a lot less judgmental and shifted his focus from finding problems to finding solutions. Whenever his employees were upset about something he’d acknowledge and validate their feelings. And when they became stuck or frustrated, he’d ask them empowering questions to shift their perspective. He developed more rapport with them, and earned more of their trust, which left them feeling more valued, respected and connected to him. It didn’t take long after that for their own performance and engagement to increase as well.

Ascanio Pignatelli is an employee engagement expert. He is an award winning speaker, seminar leader, coach, and author of the forthcoming book Lead from Need: Raising Employee Engagement from the Core. He is the founder of ApexCEO, an executive coaching and leadership development group that helps executives develop the leadership and communication skills to create more engaging workplaces. To find out how Ascanio can help your next speaking event or executive leadership / employee engagement workshops please call 310.913.2313.

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Lead From Need: Raising Employee Engagement Levels

Raising Employee Engagement Levels
Raising Employee Engagement Levels

His CEO performance review is in and Scott is clearly alarmed. Unless next quarter’s KPI goals are met the Governance committee will ask for his resignation. He grabs his phone and calls Jerin, his gregarious college roommate and the person who transformed Silicon Beach’s most dysfunctional company into one of its most electric. “Jerin, I need your help. My staff is not producing like they once were. They are lethargic, apathetic, unmotivated, dis…”

“Disengaged!,” interjects Jerin. “You need to think about raising employee engagement levels.”

“We’ve been investing heavily into employee engagement programs, but they’re not really working. We keep pouring money into recruiting and retaining the best. We even keep increasing salaries, benefits and perks, basically giving them everything they want, but nothing’s working.”

“The problem is you’re giving them what they think they want, but not what they really need,” explains Jerin. “Your employees are emotionally detached; their real needs aren’t being met. Fat salaries and perks are great, but what they really want is to be inspired, connected and living a life of purpose. They need to feel valued. As their leader you need to lead from need. Once our basic survival needs have been met, we all aspire to satisfy the five deeper needs; connection, contribution, freedom, growth and fun.”

Raising Employee Engagement Levels

Jerin is right and is part of a new wave of leaders who know that raising employee engagement levels is to coach and empower your employees to greatness. As a leader in your organization you want to ensure that your employees feel they are:

Connected: building relationships with others
Contributing: doing something meaningful
Free: have a sense of choice and autonomy
Growing: developing personally and professionally
Having Fun: really enjoying their time at work

Connection

Companies with employees who have strong personal ties to each other have far higher engagement rates than those that don’t. To connect with your employees, create greater trust and loyalty by being more authentic. Great leaders don’t fret over public opinion and neither should you. Let go of who you think you should be, and just be yourself. You will gain their trust and respect in the process. Be vulnerable. Show them the real you. We all have the same fears of not being good enough, smart enough or worthy enough, so why pretend we are the exception? The best managers connect deeply with their employees by paying attention to what’s important to them. Carve out some time each week to grab lunch or a coffee with your key team members. Find out what they enjoy doing outside of work and get to know them personally. Finally, let them know that you and the company care for them. As their need to belong is met, they will give more of themselves, which, in turn, fuels their next need: their need to contribute.

Contribution

Doing something meaningful gives our life purpose. We all want to be doing something significant with our lives and have those efforts recognized. Studies show employees are happiest when they know they are making a difference and helping others. Often their contribution goes unnoticed. Metrics for measuring an employee’s contribution should shift from measuring their individual performance to measuring their team’s performance. How are your staff members influencing those around them? A staff member with excellent soft skills who constantly uplifts his fellow employees is an incredible asset to your team, yet this won’t show up in any assessment. To help your workers feel they are contributing something meaningful you can try recognizing and publicly celebrating their accomplishments as often as possible or sharing a client story that shows your employee the difference they are making in someone’s life.

Freedom

Self-direction is the key to performance, creativity and engagement. The real you only shows up when you feel free. Employees are far more loyal and productive in workplace environments that respect their freedom and encourage their self-expression. To ensure your staff feels a sense of autonomy remind them that everything they do is a choice. Choice is power, and when your employees believe they have a choice they will become more engaged in the process. Align their choices with their values, not their fears. When we choose from fear, our actions lack power. When we choose from our values our actions have more power, more meaning and more energy. Give your employees more flexibility to accommodate their schedules. What long-held beliefs might be blocking new win-win opportunities? Decentralize whatever authority you can to give your workers more decision-making power. This will empower them and make your company much more efficient.

Growth

If your staff feels they are not making progress in their own personal development they will soon become disconnected and seek opportunities elsewhere. Ensure that each employee is constantly challenged so that they can grow. The greater a person’s belief in their own power to influence an outcome, the more likely they are to succeed with a new challenge. To help your employees grow, try building confidence. Challenge any belief they might have that is limiting their performance. For example, if an employee thinks they aren’t experienced enough to manage a project you can remind them of their unique strengths and capabilities.

Another way to promote growth is modeling. Have inexperienced employees watch other colleagues with similar skills perform more advanced tasks. Seeing others with similar abilities succeed at a task will help them develop positive, “can-do” beliefs. Recognition and positive feedback are key to helping your employees feel more competent, motivated and open to growth. Negative feedback can devastate those with low self-esteem. Finally, optimize the environment. Create a vibrant, energetic, stress-free workplace that encourages your employees to get the food, exercise, rest and water their bodies need so they can perform at their best.

Fun

If work isn’t fun, your employees might eventually burnout. Companies like Apple and Google have taken the lead into turning their organizations into work places that encourage freedom and fun. Making your workplace fun will raise your employees’ morale and energy and is the key to stimulating their creativity and innovation. It will also help decrease stress and turnover, as well as strengthen the relationships of all of your employees. Make your workplace a lot more fun by gathering your team together for a 30-minute brainstorming session, then voting and Implementing 3-4 fun new ideas.

Conclusion

The most successful leaders in the world are raising employee engagement levels by honoring their employees’ five needs: connection, contribution, freedom, growth and fun. They know that what really motivates people – once their basic financial needs have been met – is their desire to grow and develop as human beings, connect and collaborate with others, contribute something to a worthy cause and have fun while dong so. Like Jarin, you can inspire your employees to reach their full potential by making your company a place where those five needs will be met.

About the Author

Ascanio Pignatelli is an employee engagement expert. He is an award winning speaker, seminar leader, coach, and author of the forthcoming book Lead from Need: Raising Employee Engagement from the Core. He is the founder of ApexCEO, an executive coaching and leadership development group that helps executives develop the leadership and communication skills to create more engaging workplaces. To find out how Ascanio can help your next speaking event or executive leadership / employee engagement workshops please call 310.913.2313.

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Leadership Pyramid

3 Leadership Traits Every Executive Needs to Master

What three leadership traits will you need to develop to run a very successful organization? The same three that every rockclimber at the top of their game has mastered, and the same three that have contributed to every success you’ve ever had: confidence, energy and enthusiasm. Together they form “The Leadership Pyramid.”

Great leaders like Jesus Christ, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. were supremely confident, energetic and enthusiastic. Yes, their messages had power, but it was their conviction, determination and passion that inspired people to act on their dreams. That same confidence, energy and enthusiasm is critical when it comes to motivating and engaging employees, inspiring customers or running a successful corporation. As an executive your ability to inspire your vendors, customers, investors and employees will dictate your success or failure. Unfortunately, most leaders don’t get this. They may blame their lack of results on not having the right people or team in place, however a weak leader will never attract a stronger leader. And engaged employees will only show up when a strong leader is there first. Develop more confidence, energy and enthusiasm and you will attract, retain and engage employees with less effort and more effectiveness.

Start with confidence. On a scale of one to ten, (and be brutally honest here), what would your level of confidence be if you were about to walk into a boardroom to do your first Fortune 500 deal? Would you stand a chance if your confidence were not at a level 10? Now ask yourself which areas of your life you lack level 10 confidence and how is that affecting you?

Perhaps it’s time to find a leadership coach or mentor who can help you develop a winning mindset. You will want to challenge whatever thoughts, beliefs or assumptions are limiting you. The most successful people in the world had great tutors, coaches, and mentors. Alexander the Great had Aristotle, Plato had Socrates and the disciples had Jesus. CEO’s of Fortune 100 companies don’t go it alone and neither should you. Consider joining a mastermind or business network of successful people that would be happy to help you uncover your blind spots, hold you accountable and empower you whenever you feel overwhelmed.

Your coach or group will also be integral in the second leadership trait: your energy. If you take care of yourself physically, and your energy is not a 10, your mindset is the culprit. Running in the background are hidden thoughts or limiting beliefs that are draining your energy and enthusiasm. A coach or mastermind team is invaluable here. Your energy will naturally rise as you begin identifying and challenging whatever is blocking you. And since your staff mirrors your energy, as that energy improves, so too will the energy of your entire team. Set the energetic tone for your organization and watch employee morale, output and productivity rise with a heightened level of energy.

Lastly, strive for level 10 enthusiasm. We know how infectious enthusiasm is and nothing can turn a business, or management team around faster than authentic enthusiasm. The key here is to have a clear vision of where you and the company will be in ten years. Visualize what it will be like when you have accomplished your goals? Reflect back to why you may have joined or started the business, focus on how your company’s products or services are contributing to others and the impact your company makes on its employees. We often brush aside the enormous difference we make in the world but remembering the people we serve can help us stay inspired.

Confidence, energy and enthusiasm are fundamental leadership traits for anyone playing at the top of their game. If you and your staff were playing with complete confidence, energy and enthusiasm could anything stop you? Where would you be ten years from now? Please comment below!

About the author

Ascanio Pignatelli is an award winning speaker, executive coach and author of the forthcoming book “Lead from Need: Raising Employee Engagement Levels from the Core”. He is the founder of ApexCEO, an executive coaching and leadership development group that helps C-level executives develop their leadership and communication skills to create more engaging workplaces. To book Ascanio for your next speaking event or workshop, please call him at 310.913.2313 or visit http://www.apexceo.com/.

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The Disconnected CEO

A recent survey revealed that a large percentage of CEOs are rather disconnected. CEO.com and Domo interviewed more than 1500 CEOs, executives, and general employees and found a startling gap between how CEOs view their communication, and how their executives and employees are interpreting it. As CEO, you are constantly reminded of the importance of communicating with clarity. And, if you are anything like the 468 CEOs surveyed, you probably believe that you are an effective communicator. However, the data below shows the gap between what some CEOs are saying and what their workforce is hearing. For instance:

    • 84% of CEOs believe they never speak to reprimand the company.
    • 39% of executives and 32% of general employees claim reprimanding does occur.
    • 1 out of 10 employees say the only communication they get from their CEO is punitive.
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Worldwide, Employee Engagement hovers at 13%

More sad news from Gallup…The latest global ratings are dismal. The majority of employees worldwide, i.e. 63% are “not engaged.” and are unlikely to invest effort into achieving your organization’s mission or vision. Moreover the 24% that are “actively disengaged” at work are unproductive, unhappy and likely to be upsetting their coworkers.

Managers worldwide need to raise employee engagement levels. By adopting a more coach-centric approach managers can help raise those levels by giving their workers more:

  • trust

  • control

  • autonomy

  • responsibility

  • respect

  • development

Increasing engagement at work doesn’t just help your organization’s growth, productivity and morale, it makes the world a much better place.

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4 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement, Performance and Satisfaction 

Kevin Wilson was a great leader, but his team was not producing the results he knew they were capable of. One day he arranged a meeting with Jim Hefner, a recently retired executive who had built and led a team that shattered every single company performance record. “Jim, how’d you build such an amazing team? They not only outperform the rest of us but they seem to have more energy, confidence and fun than anyone else.”

“Kevin, I’m a big fan and follower of a branch of industrial-organizational psychology known as Core Self-Evaluations (CSE). That’s what made us so successful. Ever heard of it?”

Kevin shook his head, “No.”

Then with eyes fixated on Kevin’s, Jim leaned in to explain: “Well, CSE is the personality trait responsible for our temperament, our wellbeing, and how we judge our circumstances. It’s also what drives our behavior. People with high core self-evaluations are generally positive and confident in their abilities, satisfied with their jobs and perform them extremely well. On the other hand, those with low core self-evaluations lack confidence, view things negatively and aren’t as satisfied with their jobs and perform them poorly. As manager, your job is to coach and raise the CSE levels of each of your employees.”

Jim is correct; every leader’s primary focus should be to personally coach the best out of their team members. Raising their employees CSE levels is the simplest, quickest and most effective way to do so. Fortunately, CSE can be easily assessed and increased by:

Shifting the Locus of Control

Employees that believe that they control their future have an internal locus of control (Internals) and are generally happier, more empowered, and more productive than (Externals) those who attribute their success or performance to fate or their surroundings. As a result, internals are more satisfied with their work and perform better. You can find out whether your employee is an internal or external by simply asking “What’s been responsible for your success/performance?”

If the answers reveal an external locus of control shift power back to your employee by asking “How does believing that you aren’t causing your success been impacting your career?” Let them explain so they can really experience how they’ve been limiting themselves, then ask: “If you knew that you were in complete control of your success, what would be possible?

Increasing Emotional Intelligence

Employees with a tendency to easily experience unpleasant emotions like anxiety, depression and despair have lower emotional intelligence (EQ) and will react far more negatively to stress. Because their EQ levels are lower, their ability to connect, understand and influence others is severely impaired. For Kevin and others in leadership positions, the need for emotional stability is even more paramount, as they are the face of the organization and set the tone for employee morale. If you have an employee that’s emotionally unstable consider asking: “What can you do to not get so stressed out next time you have a presentation/sales call)?” Or “What would be a more appropriate way to react to an upset client/colleague?

Instilling Self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is the trait responsible for how likely we are to succeed with current goals and tasks, or take on a challenging assignment or “write it off” as impossible. (How likely we are to adhere to a diet or workout program is dictated by our self-efficacy.)

Employees with high self-efficacy are more determined and persistent when dealing with adversity, and more likely to welcome new challenges as opportunities for growth. The greater a person’s belief in their own power to influence an outcome the more likely they are to succeed with a new challenge. The following four step process can help you develop someone else’s self efficacy:

  1. Build confidence- Challenge any belief they might have that is limiting their performance. For example, if an employee thinks they aren’t experienced enough to manage a project you can remind them of their unique strengths and capabilities.
  2. Promote modeling- Have inexperienced employees watch other colleagues with similar skills perform more advanced tasks. Seeing others with similar abilities succeed at a task will help them develop positive, “can-do” beliefs.
  3. Evaluate to motivate- Rewards, recognition and positive feedback are key to helping your employees feel more competent, motivated and open to growth. Negative feedback can devastate those with low self-esteem, as they almost always take it personally. Adopt the 70/30 “sandwich” method when giving an employee feedback on their performance:
  • Start by acknowledging their contributions to date – 35%.
  • Then explain areas and, more importantly, ways their performance can be improved – 30%.
  • Conclude with some positive reinforcement that leaves them feeling respected, supported and valued – 35%.
  1. Optimize the environment- Take a page from any olympic athlete who knows that investing valuable time and energy into their physical and physiological wellbeing is essential for optimal performance. Create a vibrant, energetic, stress-free workplace that encourages your staff to get the food, exercise, rest and water their bodies need so they too can perform at their best.

Increasing their Self-esteem

Self-esteem is the approval we have of ourselves and the extent to which we see ourselves as capable, significant, successful, and worthy. It is one of the most essential of the CSE domains because it is the overall value we place on ourselves as human beings. The productivity of workers with low self esteem is often very low due to their indecisiveness and fear of making mistakes, and striving for perfection which often is not achieved and leads to frustration. Generally they are highly irritable and pessimistic, and can drain the positive, enthusiastic energy of their more self-assured colleagues. Predictably, those with low self-esteem are more likely to be unsatisfied with their jobs, performing them considerably worse than those with higher self-esteem. To boost the self-esteem of your employees:

  1. Recognize and celebrate their successes and accomplishments as much as possible.
  2. Express your gratitude and appreciation to them for the contribution and difference they keep making.
  3. Be a model of kindness and compassion to others, especially those with lower self-esteem.

Conclusion

Jim Hefner understood that coaching the best out of his team meant raising their CSE levels. He did everything he could to raise those levels and as a result his team was always more satisfied with their work, performed it better, and were more confident, motivated and enthusiastic. They were also far less stressed, had less conflict, coped more effectively with setbacks and were better equipped at capitalizing on opportunities. To better engage, empower and motivate your greatest resource and boost the bottom line lead like Jim and raise those CSE levels.

 

Ascanio Pignatelli is an employee engagement expert. He is an award winning speaker, seminar leader, coach, and author of the forthcoming book Lead from Need: Raising Employee Engagement from the Core. He is the founder of ApexCEO, an executive coaching and leadership development group that helps executives develop the leadership and communication skills to create more engaging workplaces. To find out how Ascanio can help your next speaking event or executive leadership / employee engagement workshops please call 310.913.2313.

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Engage Employees with Elevated Communication

Engaging Employee Communication

Kevin Wilson was a great leader, but his team was not producing the results he knew they were capable of. One day he arranged a meeting with Jim Hefner, a recently retired executive who had built and led a team that shattered every single company performance record. “Jim, how’d you build such an amazing team? They not only outperform the rest of us but they seem to have more energy, confidence and fun than anyone else.”

“Kevin, I’m a big fan and follower of a branch of industrial-organizational psychology known as Core Self-Evaluations (CSE). That’s what made us so successful. Ever heard of it?”

Kevin shook his head, “No.”

Then with eyes fixated on Kevin’s, Jim leaned in to explain: “Well, CSE is the personality trait responsible for our temperament, our wellbeing, and how we judge our circumstances. It’s also what drives our behavior. People with high core self-evaluations are generally positive and confident in their abilities, satisfied with their jobs and perform them extremely well. On the other hand, those with low core self-evaluations lack confidence, view things negatively and aren’t as satisfied with their jobs and perform them poorly. As manager, your job is to coach and raise the CSE levels of each of your employees.”

Jim is correct; every leader’s primary focus should be to personally coach the best out of their team members. Raising their employees CSE levels is the simplest, quickest and most effective way to do so. Fortunately, CSE can be easily assessed and increased by:

Shifting the Locus of Control

Employees that believe that they control their future have an internal locus of control (Internals) and are generally happier, more empowered, and more productive than (Externals) those who attribute their success or performance to fate or their surroundings. As a result, internals are more satisfied with their work and perform better. You can find out whether your employee is an internal or external by simply asking “What’s been responsible for your success/performance?”

If the answers reveal an external locus of control shift power back to your employee by asking “How does believing that you aren’t causing your success been impacting your career?” Let them explain so they can really experience how they’ve been limiting themselves, then ask: “If you knew that you were in complete control of your success, what would be possible?

Increasing Emotional Intelligence

Employees with a tendency to easily experience unpleasant emotions like anxiety, depression and despair have lower emotional intelligence (EQ) and will react far more negatively to stress. Because their EQ levels are lower, their ability to connect, understand and influence others is severely impaired. For Kevin and others in leadership positions, the need for emotional stability is even more paramount, as they are the face of the organization and set the tone for employee morale. If you have an employee that’s emotionally unstable consider asking: “What can you do to not get so stressed out next time you have a presentation/sales call)?” Or “What would be a more appropriate way to react to an upset client/colleague?

Instilling Self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is the trait responsible for how likely we are to succeed with current goals and tasks, or take on a challenging assignment or “write it off” as impossible. (How likely we are to adhere to a diet or workout program is dictated by our self-efficacy.)

Employees with high self-efficacy are more determined and persistent when dealing with adversity, and more likely to welcome new challenges as opportunities for growth. The greater a person’s belief in their own power to influence an outcome the more likely they are to succeed with a new challenge. The following four step process can help you develop someone else’s self efficacy:

  • Build confidence- Challenge any belief they might have that is limiting their performance. For example, if an employee thinks they aren’t experienced enough to manage a project you can remind them of their unique strengths and capabilities.
  • Promote modeling- Have inexperienced employees watch other colleagues with similar skills perform more advanced tasks. Seeing others with similar abilities succeed at a task will help them develop positive, “can-do” beliefs.
  • Evaluate to motivate- Rewards, recognition and positive feedback are key to helping your employees feel more competent, motivated and open to growth. Negative feedback can devastate those with low self-esteem, as they almost always take it personally. Adopt the 70/30 “sandwich” method when giving an employee feedback on their performance:
    • Start by acknowledging their contributions to date – 35%.
    • Then explain areas and, more importantly, ways their performance can be improved – 30%.
    • Conclude with some positive reinforcement that leaves them feeling respected, supported and valued – 35%.
  • Optimize the environment- Take a page from any olympic athlete who knows that investing valuable time and energy into their physical and physiological wellbeing is essential for optimal performance. Create a vibrant, energetic, stress-free workplace that encourages your staff to get the food, exercise, rest and water their bodies need so they too can perform at their best.

Increasing their Self-esteem

Self-esteem is the approval we have of ourselves and the extent to which we see ourselves as capable, significant, successful, and worthy. It is one of the most essential of the CSE domains because it is the overall value we place on ourselves as human beings. The productivity of workers with low self esteem is often very low due to their indecisiveness and fear of making mistakes, and striving for perfection which often is not achieved and leads to frustration. Generally they are highly irritable and pessimistic, and can drain the positive, enthusiastic energy of their more self-assured colleagues. Predictably, those with low self-esteem are more likely to be unsatisfied with their jobs, performing them considerably worse than those with higher self-esteem. To boost the self-esteem of your employees:

Recognize and celebrate their successes and accomplishments as much as possible.
Express your gratitude and appreciation to them for the contribution and difference they keep making.
Be a model of kindness and compassion to others, especially those with lower self-esteem.
Conclusion

Jim Hefner understood that coaching the best out of his team meant raising their CSE levels. He did everything he could to raise those levels and as a result his team was always more satisfied with their work, performed it better, and were more confident, motivated and enthusiastic. They were also far less stressed, had less conflict, coped more effectively with setbacks and were better equipped at capitalizing on opportunities. To better engage, empower and motivate your greatest resource and boost the bottom line lead like Jim and raise those CSE levels.

About the Author

Ascanio Pignatelli is an award winning speaker, executive coach and author of the forthcoming book “Lead from Need: Raising Employee Engagement Levels from the Core”. He is the founder of ApexCEO, an executive coaching and leadership development group that helps C-level executives develop their leadership and communication skills to create more engaging workplaces. To book Ascanio for your next speaking event or workshop, please call him at 310.913.2313 or visit http://www.apexceo.com/.

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