Roughly 70 percent of workers aren’t engaged in their work, according to a series of Gallop polls done over the last four years. That’s not only bad news for the employees themselves, but for the companies that employ them.
“Engaged employees are the ones who are the most likely to drive innovation, growth and revenue that their companies need,” the April 9 Gallop survey says.
Unengaged workers are often the result of uninspired bosses. Great bosses encourage their employees to strive toward greatness and success.
To sustain passion, employees need to know their work has meaning. That requires leaders to communicate a bold, specific and consistent vision, says Carmine Gallo, a Forbes columnist who wrote “Fire Them Up!: 7 Simple Secrets to Inspire Colleagues, Customers, and Clients.”
Great managers communicate the benefit behind the company’s product or service so employees know the “why” behind what they’re being asked to do, he said.
Employees are also motivated by knowing that everyone, from top to bottom, is part of the team and held to the same expectations. Effective executives lead by example, participating in the company’s culture, process, and management systems – not by holding themselves above it.
“Casting separate rules for yourself at any part in the organization will only alienate your employees and reinforce the idea that you are somehow separate from everyone else,” said Jerome Knyszewski, a marketing specialist and founder of Linked BluePrint.
Enthusiastic employees are usually the workers who tap into their strengths.
“People who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged in their work and three times more likely to say they have an excellent quality of life,” said Dr. Donald O. Clifton, who developed an online assessment that helps people identify, understand, and maximize their skills and talents.
Here are some other ways to help inspire your employees:
- Praise, don’t criticize. Shower employees with compliments when they do good work.
- Recognize high performers with appreciation events or awards ceremonies.
- Give them gift cards to their favorite restaurants, bookstores or perhaps a massage.
- Send them a thank you note as their project progresses.
- Involve employees in major decisions by soliciting regular feedback.
- Measure progress in a tangible way to show their work is valuable and helps the company
This guest post is by Caren Burmeister. Caren is a retired newspaper reporter turned freelance writer who enjoys yoga and caring for her two fat cats.