Do you inspire your employees or make them despair?

People don’t leave their job… they leave their boss! Employee engagement has been a hot topic for many years and rightly so if the research is to be believed.

A CIPD survey in spring this year highlighted the following results:

  • 24% of employees are actively looking for a new job
  • 66% of employees are not fully engaged in the work they do
  • 50% of employees are not aware of the organisation’s strategy and objectives

This evidence suggests we have a real problem and it is slightly astounding that this issue doesn’t get the attention it deserves in organisations when considering the benefits that can be realised through paying attention to such a fundamental business activity. When organisations focus on employee engagement research shows that there is a real potential to double, yes double, profits, as well as an increase in productivity up to around 20% and lower staff attrition rates by 40% (Engage For Success – The Evidence 2012).

So what can the management do about it?

The answer is a lotbut be aware there are no quick fixes. (And no, putting a pool table in the office doesn’t turn you into a cool, trendy Google-like business that everyone wants to work for.)

Creating employee engagement takes time and is made up of many things.

However, there is one key ingredient that can kill engagement in an instance… or it can help it to blossom and thrive: the actions and behaviours of the managers and leaders in the business.

Do you make your employees despair? It is an honest question you should consider.

If you’ve been around for any length of time, then you’ve probably experienced the managers who make you despair and ones that inspire you.

You’ve met the managers who think that people should be grateful to have a job and get paid. These people scream and shout and at the end of the day the job may get done… but at what cost?

On the other hand, the boss who values your contribution and actually thanks you for a job well done is much more effective. These bosses treat people as priority, and people will go that extra mile because they feel valued and they can look up to someone who leads by example.

Five ideas leaders can use to start inspiring their employees:

1. Be clear on what the business is trying to achieve.

The first thing businesses need to do is be clear on what the business is trying to achieve. Does everyone know where you are heading? You need purpose! If the goals are vague or misunderstood in any way, then joined up decision making becomes almost impossible and people go their own way.

Jack Welch said: “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

2. Internal communication must be open, honest and visible.Good communication within an offer

Open, honest and visible is essential. Leaders and managers should provide clear accurate and relevant information to employees. Communication is not one-way either, the managers should also seek feedback and provide forums for employees to voice their thoughts, opinions and suggestions upwards. Managers should encourage people to have a voice and regularly ask team members what they are thinking and feeling.

3. Provide opportunities for employees to develop and progress.

Employee development and progression is key and managers need to ensure that their expectations of performance are understood and agreed. Millennials (people born after 1990) highlight this as particular importance to them being engaged in work. Since this generation makes up 35% of the current workforce in the UK, this is obviously a key consideration for organisations and their people strategies.

This isn’t just through the periodic appraisal process though! Managers should have ongoing daily chats with their employees. Furthermore, they should also have the confidence to involve employees in the decision making process though regular team meetings.

In addition, with a clear benefits scheme that isn’t just focused on salary, employees will experience the opportunities to develop, which can encourage your workforce.

4. Encourage proactivity, creativity and innovation.4. Encourage proactivity, creativity and innovation.

Businesses are constantly changing as they respond to the outside world but it is not just the manager’s jobs to foresee, understand and respond to make the transformations. Involving the team to review the challenges can create wider insights to what is going on produce more innovative solutions. Managers need to encourage proactivity, creativity and innovation by providing ‘safe’ environments to voice ideas, experiment and learn. Have regular brainstorming sessions and give the space and time to experiment and generate novel ideas.

5. Give employees autonomy and freedom to work as they see fit.

No one likes working with someone looking over your shoulder. With clear expectations and agreed goals and timelines, give people autonomy and freedom to carry out their work in the best way they see fit, what works best for them to deliver what your business wants.

Engaging the people who work for you will make a big difference.

There is little doubt that engaging your people in the work they do and feel a belonging to the organisation they work for can, and does, produce positive results for all concerned.

We have highlighted a number of activities that organisations can pursue to achieve this but it takes time for behaviours to become embedded into the culture of the organisation.

The key to success is the actions and the behaviours of the leaders and managers in the organisation: leading by example, communicating clearly, listening well and appreciating the contribution that people make is fundamental skills and actually cost the business nothing.

If you do need any support, we can help. Contact DP Accounting and we will put you in touch with our specialist & life coach Peter Loadman.



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