In this last article, we spoke about your review of the first 3 months of this year and how you feel your team has done. We contextualized this review within the framework of your own performance and left you with some good questions to ponder in assessing your current results and the remaining gap from here towards your target. But now it’s time to take a long hard look at employee engagement because ultimately, that is where your success is going to lie.
By this time you have probably finished your Q1 reviews, chopped up the remaining milestones into manageable chunks of work and given this work to the relevant people in your team. The question I would like you to think about today has to do with how engaged you think the members of your team are.
Recent studies show us shocking numbers of 60%+ of employees not being engaged at work. There must be something significantly wrong with the way we have set-up our places of work if we cannot keep our people engaged.
It is the responsibility of the people who see themselves as leaders in an organization, title or not, to rigorously make sure their colleagues and subordinates are actively engaged at work. The alternative is a slow, cancer-type disease that drains the energy of everything around the un-engaged, sucking up resources and spitting out sub-par work in a low-level mood that makes everyone feel strange about their place of work.
Let’s take a look at the members of your team individually. If you have answered the 5 questions from my previous article and you know the person is a good fit for the job in terms of skills and values, but they are still not performing at the desired level, you owe it to yourself and to them to have a heart-to-heart about their engagement.
This is not a loose conversation in any way. It should be a structured discussion of their performance over the past 3 months and specifically an agreement on their lack of engagement. The latter needs to be agreed upon for any further discussion to bear fruit.
If they disagree on their lack of engagement, then you will need to start a process to increase their awareness. Be aware that this is not a quick fix. The upside is that you should only need to have this conversation with about 10% of your team. If you can proceed with them systematically, and with a constructive approach, you should be able to evolve the conversation to a point where the individual(s) can agree with your assessment of having low engagement or change your mind.
The beauty of the human spirit is that once it knows it is not living up to its full potential, it tends to correct its trajectory quite quickly.
If the person’s performance and engagement show improvement, then keep monitoring. If they don’t, then you would want to continue the conversation until the person agrees that they are not reaching their potential.
In freeing their thinking in this way, it usually takes a short amount of time for them to make the decision to move on. It is not pleasant, but it allows the rest of your team to keep building energy, while it also sets someone free with a positive intention of wanting them to find engaging employment.
I’d love to get your feedback on the performance of your teams. Or better yet, schedule a free one-on-one with me and let me join your journey!