Leadership is often confused for producing results. Especially in the workplace. Producing result is a huge part of leadership but not the only thing. The journey to the results is what defines great leaders. For the most part, the modern employee doesn’t work just for the salary. At the end of the day, what matters most is not how much they made but how much they contributed to society. And leaders should engage employees in that respect. If you do that, chances are, you might create a workplace that not only works to get results but also understands the reason to do so. When push comes to shove, we are slowly moving towards a relationship economy and in this setting, engagement works differently.
- Find out what drives them
Engaging your employees starts with knowing who they are. In this process, you’ll discover what their dreams are in life and what engages them. Not everyone’s goal will align neatly with your organization’s goals and values but in the process you might discover creative ways to engage them. For instance, if an employee’s passion is to make films and write stories and you’re a sanitation based NGO, involve them in your donor outreach strategies and let use their passion where they see gaps. Doing that, will help them be more engaged in their job and feel valued.
- Show them you value them
Scott Mautz, a prominent author on this subject, says that the most important value in leadership is visibly demonstrating that you value others. It is a non-negotiable value. When interacting with your employees, it is important for you to make them feel heard and that their contributions, no matter how small matter. This isn’t just to make them feel good about themselves but also to help them push themselves everyday and work towards the common good of their organization.
- Ask for input
This isn’t for situations where it is their job to do so but also, in managerial decisions like re-branding, relocation, new strategies for employee engagement. These simple questions make them feel like they truly are a part of a team. It’s also important to note that you have to genuinely consider their ideas and inputs and show them that you did.