Engaging Your Team

blog leadership Mar 05, 2018

I constantly hear complaints of staff that just show up to collect a check and how hard it is to find and keep good team members to replace them. Today, I’m going to bat for all the workers out there because I don’t believe anybody starts a job thinking about how they can screw up your business. I believe that most employee issues are caused by management. Creating and engaging team members is easy once you know how.

An engaged team member is a person that is emotionally, mentally, and physically engaged in your business. They see themselves as part of the business and measure their success by the business’s success. The most engaged a co-worker will ever be to your business is on their first day. What you do on that day determines the continued engagement and long-term success of that person. You need to set the stage for the rest of their time with you with four easy steps.

  • Clear. You’ve got to be clear on the values you run your company by, the mindset, skills, and responsibilities they need to bring to the table to be successful, and the goals, and expectations you have for them and will use as a ruler to measure their performance. If you’re clear on what you want and the results you expect, you’ll do a better job hiring. You’ll get Mr. Right instead of Mr. Right Now. Taking the time to go through each of these areas on their first day and then multiple times throughout their first ninety days is an investment that will give you a handsome return.
  • Care. Over half the people that leave a company leave that company because they don’t feel valued and cared for. In an industry where the playing field is pretty level as far as compensation packages go, caring can and should be your differentiator. You’re hiring a human being and this human being has highs and lows in their life just like you do. If you’re really going to care, then you’ve got to see them as human beings and not machines. Yes, they have a job to do and they’ll do it so much better when they’re working with someone that is there to listen, get them help if needed, and is flexible. The days of running your business like a dictatorship are long gone. If you want to keep great people, you’ve got to see and treat them as such.
  • Communicate. Showing your new team member how the communication works and flows in your company starting their first day is going to set the standard for how you expect them to engage and interact with you, other staff, and your customers. This is where actions truly speak louder than words. You can say whatever you want about having a peaceful workplace but when you blow up over something that happens, your actions just set the real standard. When your actions match your words and you show respect and caring in all you do, you’ll be one step closer to keeping that co-worker fully engaged.
  • Coach. Setting the expectation for growth in your new team member is critical right now. There’s no such thing as ever being done learning and getting better at what they do. Training classes are great and important but the real growth is going to come from the daily interactions you have with your team member that will help them grow and become all they can be in their chosen career. Again, always treating them with respect and belief in their abilities is key here. Belittling or demeaning your staff never works. That behavior comes from your frustration and anger. You’ve got to believe that they want to do their best and it’s your job to show them what the best looks like. You want them getting better every day.

When you start your relationship with your new employee with these four cornerstones, you’ll end up with employees that would go to the ends of the earth for you, not for the paycheck, but because you’ve taken the time to see just how AMAZING they are!