Study after study has shown us that if you’re the boss, you are the person with the biggest impact on the productivity, morale and engagement of your team. Here are ten things you can do to improve all three.
1. Show up a lot. All good things flow from this. You get to know your people and they get to know you.
2. Take every opportunity to help individuals and the team succeed. That’s your job. It will be easier if you do it in frequent, little steps instead of a few heroic ones.
3. Have lots of short, informal supervisory conversations. Most of your chats with team members about their behavior and performance won’t require documentation.
4. Set clear expectations and check for understanding. You may think that your expectations are clear, but check anyway. Check when you set the expectations. Follow up to see how understanding has turned into performance.
5. Praise effort and highlight superior performance. Praise is the tool you use to get people to try. It’s also the tool you use to let people know what’s important to you.
6. Build on strengths. People will do better and feel better if you can help them develop their strengths. Teams will perform better if team members are using their strengths.
7. Make weaknesses irrelevant. You don’t always have to eliminate weaknesses. But you do have to make it so the weaknesses don’t affect individual and group performance.
8. Have a transition conversation before you move to formal meetings and documentation. Don’t surprise people with documentation. Let them know when you’ve reached the point where documentation will happen if they don’t change.
9. Make sure people have the resources to do what you expect. Resources include skills and time and equipment and support. If your people don’t have them, get them before you hold people accountable for results.
10. Weed out those who can’t or won’t perform. They’re cancers eating at your team from the inside.
Boss’s Bottom Line
None of this is rocket science. But it all takes work. The good news is that your work will pay off in improved productivity, morale and engagement.
Free Employee Engagement E-Book
This material was my contribution to a powerfully helpful free e-book put together by David Zinger with contributions from members of the Employee Engagement Network. It’s called The Top Tens of Employee Engagement. There are almost 100 pages of advice from 30 experts. Here are the titles of just five of the articles.
10 Questions Designed To Engage by Steve Roesler
10 Ways to Engage Remote Teams by Wayne Turmel
10 Principles of Employee Engagement David Zinger
10 Ways to Measure the Impact of Employee Engagement Interventions Stephen J. Gill
Top Ten Tunes of Engagement by David Marklew