Engagement of employees is a critical factor to producing great bottom line results.
One way to engage them is to find their “Hot Buttons”, the individual motivating factors that drive them and then manage them in line with these factors. Managing them towards their goals and dreams whilst taking into account their hot buttons builds respect and trust. Another thing you should do is to have an Expectations Meeting where the team comes up with operating standards and rewards & consequences. Setting expectations is an amazing thing, you generally get the expectations you set.
This is replicated in classrooms. In a 1960s study, which has been replicated many times since, researchers gave an IQ test to school students at the beginning of the year. They then randomly selected 25 of these students and told the teachers that these students were extraordinarily gifted and were expected to excel. When the students were retested six months later, those who were labelled as intelligent showed a dramatic increase in their performance compared to their peers – even though many of them they weren’t very bright to begin with.
This shows the influence that expectations have on performance. Whenever you form an expectation of an employee, you begin to act differently without realising it. This altered behaviour signifies to your employee your expectation, and when repeated consistently, the employee’s behaviour eventually meets that expectation. There are five areas to focus on.
Intention: This is what’s outlined above. Be careful that you don’t let your biases cloud your judgement. Have high expectations of everyone or, at the very least, do so initially.
Involvement: Include your employees in a consultative discussion prior to setting your expectations to get their buy-in early and to give you beneficial feedback before it’s too late.
Clarity: Once the expectations have been set, they need to be specifically articulated. The clearer they are in your employees’ minds, the higher then are the chances they’ll be met.
Language: The words you use when setting expectations have more power than you imagine. There’s a big difference between “I want you to” and “I believe you can”.
Linking: For your expectations to be embraced and owned by your employees, find some way to connect these expectations to your employees’ ambitions, key drivers, and values.
It all comes down to this: what you expect is really what you get……This type of focus will create engaged employees.
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