Why does one organization get a reputation as a great place to work while another struggles to retain its employees? It’s never a simple matter of company A paying more than company B. Financial incentives may attract more applicants, but they don’t connect an individual personally to an organization. The level of commitment, the willingness of an employee to recommend his or her company as a great place to work and to do business — what we call engagement — can make or break an organization.

Every organization needs its own unique development plan based on the findings of its research. Management needs to understand how engaged employees segment by department and location, the factors that are enhancing engagement and thosethat detract from it. With this knowledge, senior leaders can develop a targeted action plan at the individual, departmental and organizational levels.

Here we will discuss what role a Senior Leader can play in managing and motivating his/her team.

1. Hold Everyone Accountable

Senior leaders establish the parameters for an engaged workplace while immediate supervisors who interact on a daily basis with employees are in the best place to evaluate engagement levels at the individual level. It is up to senior management to support immediate supervisors and ensure they have the appropriate skills and motivation to identify and understand changes in engagement levels. Individual employees are responsible for their own actions and interactions with co-workers, which contribute to a positive working environment. Respectful feedback builds engagement throughout the team.

2. Lead by Example

Senior leaders set the tone for the organization and define its goals. These behaviors and goals need to be clearly defined, realistic for the employees to achieve and communicated throughout the organization. This will create a shared sense of responsibility for the success of the organization.

Workers’ perception of senior leaders tends to be less positive than their perception of immediate supervisors, possibly because they are distanced from management and more likely to concentrate blame for all problems in the organization on the executives. Leaders have to project a positive manner in all interactions with other managers and employees and be accessible to them.

Engaged senior leaders act as a positive role model for all employees, but in particular they serve as a role model for immediate supervisors who in turn build more engaged teams. Engaged managers are more likely to have an engaged team; disengaged employees probably have a disengaged manager, too.

Each team or department needs to understand how its roles and tasks fit into the organizational vision. Use the diversity of skills, experiences and backgrounds within the team to create an enthusiastic and innovative environment. Build a climate of trust within the team, ensuring that the necessary feedback

Supervisors give is well-received and improves overall performance. See thatsupervisors support the individual members of the team and care about them on a personal level. Encourage employees to learn from managers’ strengths.

3. Rewards and Recognition

All employees want their contributions to be acknowledged. Successful executives setrealistic targets and value sustained effort, rewarding employees and managers who increase productivity and who build enthusiasm. These rewards need not be financial, but they should be meaningful — offering the same incentives time after time leads employees to think management doesn’t really care about them. Benefits and incentives can be customized to appeal to different segments of the workforce. Recognition and praise in addition to physical incentives promotes engagement. It is important to determine how the individual’s personal ambition aligns with the organization’s goals.

Encourage individual development and recognize individual accomplishments. Praise publicly, reprimand in private and coach individuals who do not demonstrate behaviors that encourage engagement.

4. Build a Culture of Engagement

Effective senior leaders recruit the right people for the job, motivate them by giving them clear goals and responsibilities, and train them throughout their careers. Senior leaders who trust their employees, communicate positively with them and recognize and reward their work tend to build an engaged workforce that gives their organization a competitive advantage.



Dale Carnegie Training

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