I’ve written about people and building winning teams many times before, and I can’t ever state enough how important your team are for your business success. Your team can be your best friends or your worst enemy in business and that choice is absolutely yours, and focusing on employee engagement should always be at the top of your priorities. And Richard Branson says it very well when he says
‘Clients don’t come first, employees come first. When you look after your employees, they look after your clients, it’s as simple as that.’
Leveraging the value of Employee Engagement
Employee engagement and empowerment has been a very well studied topic and lots of strong research has shown that productivity and performance can be moved by up to 50%, for good or bad..
You can also read a million books on how to look after your employees, I’ve ready many and yes there are a few exceptional books with simple easy to follow models. One of which is Daniel Pink’s book Drive where he discusses his AMP model. It’s excellent and very simple to understand and apply, and if you haven’t read it, I suggest you do.
But my question to you is, do you really need to read lots of books to know the answer to employee engagement?
Putting things into Action
The answer for the most part is quite straight forward, it’s all about respect. While there is no one size fits all approach, there are basic foundations that anyone can apply, starting today.
It revolves around actually caring for your people
- Are they happy?
- Do they need help or support?
- Are they learning?
- How can you support them working smarter and not harder
In the video I discuss 3 very simple strategies to understand and implement so you can start leveraging the power of your people and within that I break down 1 area a little further so you can get into the fundamentals on how to get people to take action.
Your People – Video Transcript
– Hi, Shay Lynch here, director of Future State, and today, I wanna talk about the people within your business, because the people in your business are actually the driving force for your business. So if you’re not looking after them, you sure as hell ain’t looking after your business. But when you do look after these people, they look after your customers, they look after your suppliers, and all the processes within your business. In fact, the goal is to have strong performing processes run by strong performing people. So the choice is yours whether they are your best asset, or your worst liability. The choices is absolutely yours. So when I’m looking at people, to keep it very simple, I look at a number, like three different areas within a business, and yes, you can go very, very deep into communications and all sorts of emotional intelligence. There’s so many, many things you can look at. But today, I just wanna focus on three very simple strategies that will sure as hell take your business and your people to the next level. So first of all, what I wanna talk about is action. The goal in any business is action. The goal for the people within your business is to take action. But when you break it down, what are the key criteria that people need to take action? So when I look at this, I look at three different areas. So, action is broken down to sense, right? They need a sense. They need a reason. They need a strategy. They need concrete objectives to do whatever they need to do. And that doesn’t matter what level. That could be senior management, or it can be people underground, doing the do, doing that great work for your business. They need concrete objectives and a strategy. And then they need motivation. They need a purpose. They need a reason. They need a why. What’s in it for them, and what’s in it for business? So make it important. Show them it’s important for what the success of the business is, but also the teams. Make it worthwhile. Give them a reason to do it. And then finally, ability, skills. They need structure. They need the skills. So when you bring all these three together, sense, motivation, and ability, you get action, because when you look at sense, motivation, and ability, sense is logical. Ability is also logical. But the motivation is the emotional side. So this is really the glue to ensure sense and ability are working arm-in-arm together. So it’s important to understand these three areas when you want people to take action. So break it down. How can you make it worth the people’s while in your business to do a damn good job, because that is what you need to ensure you get success. So the first key point there, action. Then we go onto agitate. So what do I mean by agitate? It’s probably more of what I don’t mean, right, and that is don’t irritate them. So there’s a difference between leading people by example, bringing ’em with you, as opposed to dictator-style approach to business where you crack the whip. Yes, that will get short-term results, and you will get results in the short-term, but then you have to consider people naturally leaving your business, and you’ve got a lot of transfer and turnover of your staff, because they transfer to other businesses. So it’s important to agitate. Help them; don’t tell them. Don’t take days. And finally, I wanna break it down into engage. So employee engagement is extremely important. So I have two things I look at here, right? I’m gonna talk about develop first. So, everybody in business has some form of development criteria in their head, and that could be very simple, or it could be stay within the team, or it go right to the top. That’s about understanding what each individual in your business wants and what they’re doing. Why is it important for them to come in and give a good day’s work, as opposed to exchange time for money? What is that development criteria for each individual in your business, and that, keep it very simple. Do not create all these crazy, crazy development plans. Keep it very simple by having open conversations with them. It isn’t hard. Work with them very hard on that. And then when you develop them, I also talk about this word. This is probably one of my favorite words in business, and that is reciprocation, the law of reciprocation, where you get your teams, you agitate your teams into helping each other. ‘Cause what happens when people help each other? So for example, I’m going in to a company, and I’m going in as a stranger to them. I need help. I can’t do my job without getting help from the teams. So my goal is to help them first before they help me, because what happens then? When I help somebody, it makes me feel good, and also the person I help, it also makes them feel good, because they were stuck. They needed help. They couldn’t move on from where they were, until they got that help. So I’ve helped them. We both got something out of it. We’re both happy, right? That is uber important when you’re talking about business success, because what happens then? I’ve helped that person before. What’s gonna happen then? They’re gonna help me, and you get into a situation where people are helping each other, and that is the fundamentals and foundations of a really strong, positive culture within your business. If you were talking about all these complicated things, which you can in culture, just start there. Just start there, develop and reciprocate. They’re the first two key things you can do to get that culture of performance in your business, because helping people are happy people. Happy people are performing people. So three things, action, agitate, and engage. Now, if you like to read, there’s a great person that I really take a lot of information from which helps me help teams in business, and that is Daniel Pink. He has a very, very simple model as well, which complements a lot what I’m talking about here. It’s called the AMP, Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose, AMP. Autonomy, give your people freedom to do what they need to do. Don’t micromanage. Don’t hold their hand. Let them do it, and let them make the mistakes, right? Because once you help them, when they make mistakes, don’t give ’em the answers. Agitate it out of them. Get to why did they make a mistake? What was the root cause of the mistake? How can they become better decision makers and take better action going forward? So you teach them to become better decision makers and do better things, and the importance of that is, then they will perform when you’re not there. So that’s autonomy. And along with that, just what I’m talking about there, that leads onto mastery, ’cause you’re helping them get better at what they do. But again, when I talk about motivation here, purpose, they need a reason. They need a reason to do what they do. They need a reason to come in and do a good day’s work, and as I said, do not get into a situation where they’re just exchanging time for money, because that is when the people are not working for you. They are working against you. And that’s so important. Again, it’s your choice whether you want them to be your best asset in your business, so they can look after the processes, your suppliers, and your customers, or your worst liability. So, over to you. What are you gonna do in your business to ensure that your people are performing at the best level and with the best respect you’re giving them, and you’re agitating to ensure they’re being successful as well as your business? In the mean time, this is Shay Lynch saying, thanks for listening.