Are your team members engaged?

Are you enjoying your role as a leader? When I was called to facilitate a bank’s strategy development retreat, my starting point was to

Are you enjoying your role as a leader?

When I was called to facilitate a bank’s strategy development retreat, my starting point was to assess whether the managers and top executives were engaged in terms of clarity of the vision and targets. First, the enterprise scorecard was not clear.

Today, almost every organization has some form of a scorecard. However, when you carefully put light into it, no one understands it. Clarity of the targets, monitoring, measurement indicators, and responsibility are usually not clear and linked to the strategic pillars or key focus areas as they usually call them. The result is a ‘scorecard’ that looks like a manifesto of a politician. Lots of good ideas on the face, but nothing table in the details.

Every leader must take a simple test: before you ask whether your staff and colleagues are engaged, how are you engaged personally? To influence your team and gain respect, you must demonstrate clarity of the journey and personal engagement. I have some few questions for you:

  1. How do your specific job roles link to the overall aspiration of the business and strategic goals? Do you appreciate the connection yourself?
  2. Are you stretched and challenged by what you do? Are you willing to take more challenges over and above the specific ones indicated in your job description?
  3. Do you advocate for the company and the work it does?
  4. Does peer feedback excite you? Do you accept to be evaluated? Do you solicit feedback from your direct reports?

Why this is critical?

As a leader, you need to know whether your colleagues are engaged in effective ownership of the targets and effective execution. Your staff makes things move. They deliver services to your customers. If they are not engaged, they will easily show it to your customers and that could lead to poor results.  When the staff is engaged in terms of understanding the strategy and their role in the journey, the business benefits.

Engaged employees understand the why of what they do.

You want people willing to go an extra kilometre to deliver work and meet customer expectations on their initiative without being pushed.

To achieve higher productivity, improve employee retention and customer service and retain customers as well as get new client referrals. Just talking about employee engagement without investing in creating staff ownership and engagement forums, may not transform your business. To win, start from the top.

Involve your critical staff in strategy formulation and agree on the key priorities to win. Clarify the indicators to measure to monitor strategy execution. And empower your team to deliver.  Challenge your team by giving them clear targets of required results and let them provide work plans on how they plan to deliver and the resources they need to win. Such approach gives meaningful engagement and could make a significant difference to your business success and your employee well-being.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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