“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”
The ultimate goal of anyone in a leadership role is to maximize performance of your teams, tap into their discretionary effort, and motivate your people to go above and beyond call of duty. It is one of the greatest challenges you will ever face as a leader. But if you are successful, this extra effort will become one of your company’s most lucrative competitive advantages.
For the past decade, I held leadership roles at a number of fast-growth companies, and experimented with strategies for getting the most out of my teams. I figured, if we are successful at engaging people, if we can help align individual goals with the strategic objectives of the company, it will boost the overall chances at success. In my pursuit of organizational excellence, I came across studies that showed that engaged companies grew profits up to 3 times faster than their competitors. I also learned that engaged employees were 87 percent less likely to leave. If only we could boost employee engagement and keep top talent longer. Managing a team of recruiters at the time, struggling to attract top software developers, I saw first-hand the rising cost of recruiting and retention. The average tenure of a skilled worker is on the decline, currently averaging 3 years or less. But the need to keep high-performing employees is greater than ever.
There is a link between employee effort and business success. Lose your employees’ commitment, suffer the inevitable decline. Employee praise is a valuable tool, and it’s free. But more often than not, it is overlooked, and there is no framework for it. As managers, we are quicker to identify and address issues than recognize excellence.
The right recognition program is in fact a secret weapon for boosting your team’s loyalty and engagement. As people leaders, we ought to devote extra energy to creating systematic ways to praise members of our teams for good performance. When such recognition is made public, when it translates into desired responsibilities and inspiring projects, your employees appreciate it, and they give you extra effort and commitment. What I observed is that when employees felt emotionally connected to their team and the goals of the organization, they were more likely to go the extra mile. Give your top employees a high-five, celebrate them with an Employee of the Month Award, a fun badge highlighting their achievement, congratulate them on their birthday, anniversary or a recent promotion. Make them feel like a rock star.
Finding the right technology partner for boosting employee engagement is key. I went from trying out strategies for boosting engagement of my teams to joining a company that made creating the best employee engagement platform its mission and reason for existence. It is called HelloTeam, and it is taking the industry by storm. If your organization is looking at comprehensive employee engagement platforms that integrate seamlessly with other HR tools in your organization, help align company goals, offer structured recognition programs, and help your global teams stay connected, take a look at HelloTeam. It just might be the last such platform you’ll need to look at.