The last thing you need when running a small business is yet another expert telling you how to motivate your employees. Yet engagement continues to sweep the globe with promises of increased productivity, performance, revenue, retention and sales.
Keep employee engagement simple by defining it as 'good work done well with others every day.' Here are five things you can do to boost engagement in just five minutes:
1. Ask the Sunday question. Every Sunday, employees at Kimberly-Clark's Latin American office were encouraged to ask themselves: Am I looking forward to going to work tomorrow? If the answer was yes, they proceeded to work as usual, but if the answer was no, they were encouraged to speak with their boss. Start using the Sunday question to assess and address engagement where you work.
2. Make sure work is an energy gain, not an energy drain. Donald Graves, an American educator formulated this question: What gives you energy, what takes it away, and what for you is a waste of time? Start asking this question and take action on what you hear.
3. Elevate progress and manage setbacks. Teresa Amabile's work on the progress principle found that the single greatest source of engagement is progress, and that setbacks cause disengagement. The Harvard professors shows that increasing you focus and attention on building progress and managing setbacks is the key to igniting engagement within the very tasks of work.
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4. Powerful performance management is a daily conversation. Avoid the temptation of elaborate performance management systems. Sharon Arad, director of performance management at Cargill, demonstrated that even a large company's performance thrives when the focus on performance is not forms and appraisals but day to day conversations, practices, and strong relationships.
5. Make employee recognition contagious. People work every day, so why not recognize them every day? Don't limit recognition to long-service pins and annual galas. Know that small and sincere personal recognition can make a huge difference when employees know their work is meaningful and that it matters to others. Encourage everyone in the business to recognize each other as there are benefits to both the person recognizing and the person being recognized. Contagious recognition is a great way to beat a 'staff' infection of disengagement.
Successful engagement demands that we focus on small yet significant daily actions. Engage with these five actions and watch engagement ignite.
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