Are Your Leaders Engaging or Disengaging Your Staff?Hot Topic Expert – Barbara Sanflippo, CSP CPAEImagine you hire some great new people and they are really kicking buttand contributing! However, after the first year it’s obvious the honeymoonis over. In addition, you have some loyal long-term folks that are physicallypresent but mentally absent. In both cases employee dissatisfaction ordisengagement is impacting productivity, the customer experience, salesand your culture.Savvy CEOs and business executives recognize a highly engaged workforce is one of the keys todeliver on your brand promise and financial success. So what’s the answer? It means yourmanagers need to step up and lead in high definition! Rather than managing by numbers andreports, high definition leaders enjoy connecting, coaching, developing and encouraging a teammember in ways that significantly impacts their overall experience and satisfaction.Do you want highly-engaged people on your team? Then you need – and want – high definitionleaders to focus on the following three crucial areas. When any of these three things stop, I canassure you, disengagement and dissatisfaction sets in.#1 Development and LearningMost employees are excited when they start a job but once they become proficient at theirwork, apathy or boredom often sets in. The antidote is to ensure there is a way for them todeepen their skills, increase learning and receive consistent coaching from a manager or amentor. This could include career pathing in a large organization, however, even smallbusinesses need to ensure their leaders spend private time coaching and developing theirpeople. It’s important to note that for the fastest growing segment of the workforce,Millennials, personal development is a driving motivator.Often organizations with the highest staff satisfaction scores require their managers to have aprivate monthly coaching session with each staff member. The conversations are not justabout performance, but rather asking, “What can I do to support you and your goals? Whatwould make you happier in your position.”? What would you like to learn next? One managertold me he noticed a dramatic shift in morale after sending one of his sales reps to an industryconference. When employees feel you are investing time in developing them, they feel valuedwhich increases happiness with their work.#2 ParticipationSome of the unhappiest employees are the ones who are most isolated. In many companies, weoften see departments functioning as “silos” with employees insulated in their own little world.This often causes the “us and them syndrome” leading to poor internal collaboration, poorservice, lack of buy-in and feeling unappreciated.The answer is to expose your employees to other areas and opportunities to get involved. Havesupport staff visit front line staff, go on a sales call, sit in on a management staff meeting andbroaden their perspective on their role and how they can contribute. Make a point of invitingintroverted employees or those in less visible positions to serve on a committee. Activeparticipation and involvement can do wonders to turn around a disengaged team member.#4 Recognition, Appreciation and CelebrationWhile this is certainly not a new concept it’s quite alarming how this proven, low-cost methodof improving morale is ignored. Over and over we see lack of recognition as a top complaint onstaff satisfaction surveys. This is not about money or incentives, but rather a personalized andauthentic expression that you value me, my work and contribution. Whether it is a personalhandwritten note from a manager, phone call from an executive or public praise at a meeting,people are hungry to know they matter. Recently I suggested the CEO of one of our clientspersonally call three different employees and express his gratitude for their success in buildingcustomer relationships. These employees were so excited you would have thought they wonthe lottery. Businesses that host frequent and fun celebratory events also have minimalturnover and happier employees.Whether they lead a sales team, manage a support function or are a CEO, High DefinitionLeaders™ think of themselves as Olympic coaches and servant leaders committed to helpingeach team member “go for the gold.” Every organization needs – and wants – high definitionpeople and leaders!Thanks for reading! Ask Rob about my popular keynote, Lead inHigh Definition – Inspire Breakthrough Performance TM !BarbBarbara SanfilippoHigh Definition People®Engage this highly-rated dynamo to inspire your leaders,employees or conference attendees and arm them withproven and fun ideas! For information, topics and to seeher in action check out Barbara Sanfilippo’s profile on Speaker Resource Center or send me an email.

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