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Leaders: Engagement Without the Ring

(posted: March 25th, 2012)

If I asked you to tell me the most serious threat to the health of your business, what would you say? Increased competition, emerging markets overseas, the state of the economy?

I will tell you now that the most serious threat to the health of your business is not an external phenomenon. It lurks within your organization - employee disengagement.

Value your People

As you search for opportunities to get ahead of the competition and attain more growth in 2012, don't forget the rich source of performance potential that is within your reach and resides within your organization - your people.

A vital part of success in 2012 is a fully-engaged workforce. This means having employees who understand their role, are willing to take ownership of shared strategic goals, and go the extra mile to accomplish them in their daily work.

"Over 70% of people leave their jobs because of the way they are led."

John Wooden, Basketball Coach, UCLA

The Highest Kind of Engagement

Good engagement practices in an organization begin with Senior Management. Leaders must be able to adapt, be authentic, and establish transparency within their group. They also must be able to pause to listen in order to lead and truly engage their people.

Be a role model of the highest caliber -- exemplify the engagement you want to see in your employees.

There seems to be a gap between our knowledge of how to develop talent and engage employees, and our ability to actually do it.

We think we are good at developing "engagement programs", but the challenges around transparency and accountability are big barriers that organizations create for themselves and regularly stumble over.

A quick way to understand how executives in your organization are leading and engaging their employees is with a 360 assessment.

For years, I have been looking for a better way to conduct a 360 review that clearly communicates an employee's top issues, while delivering solid instruction on how to fix each problem and be more successful. Finally, I found the answer to the 360 review conundrum.

This new tool simplifies the review process for everyone, and is better received by the employee because it is kept positive and removes the negative comments found in other 360 reviews.

It also makes it clear what challenges are preventing each employee from achieving success in a fast, focused and practical approach. It's the best 360 review tool I have found in my 25 years in leadership development and coaching.

OPTM360: Simplifying the 360 Review

The OPTM360 is a new way of conducting a 360 review that promotes behavioral change in employees.

Unlike typical 360s, OPTM360 focuses on the top three priorities for change and explains how to improve those behaviors for more success.

Remove the negativity and lack of motivation experienced in many 360s and give your employees a clear roadmap to success in a quick and easy-to-use tool that rapidly changes behaviors.

See how it works here: OPTM360 Review for management

With OPTM360:

Leaders are given a clear roadmap to success in a quick and easy-to-use tool that changes behaviors and provides a guide to becoming more successful.

As Marc Effron, the developer of the tool, states:

"The One Page Talent Management is a radical new approach to growing talent. It does away with the complexity and bureaucracy. Instead it offers a simple approach to developing the high-quality talent you need--right now."

Engagement Means More Productivity

The current strategies most organizations are using to increase employee engagement are not working.

The average percentage of engaged employees has increased just 2 percent over the past five years, despite the millions of dollars organizations have spent to solve the problem.

Based on the research from the Gallup Organization, still less than one-third of the American workforce is engaged, and the numbers for other countries are even worse.

Engaging staff is about clarifying the results you need to achieve, while making a case for why they should sign up, buy in, and invest in getting it done.

Think about it...

If an employee spends one hour a day not engaging and doing something else, like surfing the web, she is wasting 22 hours, or 3 days a month, of productivity. Companies can't afford that kind of down-time.

Passionate and engaged employees are willing to go the extra mile for a leader who is also engaged and satisfies their needs.

What are those needs? According to Keith Ayers in his book, "Engagement is not Enough", they include:

  1. To Be Respected
  2. To Learn & Grow
  3. To Be an Insider
  4. To Do Meaningful Work
  5. To Be On a Winning Team

See how it works on the chart below:

Human beings are complex, and yet their needs for becoming committed, passionate, and engaged team players are simple to understand.

The leadership skills you need to ignite that fire within them are not that complex, but because they do not come naturally to most of us, they have to be communicated, understood, learned, and implemented.

"Goals. There's no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There's no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there's no telling what will happen when you act on them."

Jim Rohn

Challenge Yourself
  • What leadership skills do you need to learn to ensure you are delivering to the needs of your employees?
  • Will a 360 assessment help you identify those things?
  • I certainly think so. Just think about the outcomes as Keith Ayers shares above.
  • The journey and reward for your willingness to do this might even bring you that brass ring.



This blog post was originally published at www.linked2leadership.com.

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