Four Steps to Employee Engagement

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Today’s post was written by a guest blogger, Anne Loehr.

Named the “Generational Guru” by The Washington Post, Anne Loehr’s books, Online Learning Center, consulting services and insights into effectively leveraging the generations gives her clients a leading edge. Read on to learn more about her leadership practices and advice.  You can also learn more about her at www.anneloehr.com

What company doesn’t face lean, tough times? I heard a great podcast recently that interviewed the former CEO of Campbell’s Soup Company, Douglas Conant. He shared some excellent recommendations and insight for keeping employees engaged during tough times.

According to Conant, the challenge leaders face today is leading in a “frenetic environment”, where workers are constantly facing distractions. He listed four qualities that leaders must possess in order to be relevant and engaging in this type of environment:

1.Lead in an enlightened way

2.Deliver quality performance

3.Do it in the moment

4.Make it enduring

So what does this mean, and how do you apply these principles as work environments constantly change?  If performance begins to decline, the first thing every leader must do is focus on the workforce, the glue of an organization Take a look at some of my past blog posts that focus on effective “people-centered” strategies.

Next, you must strategize and be willing to admit what your weaknesses are, as individuals and as teams.  Leaders should be the first to engage with employees and initiate these conversations, which helps deliver quality performances.

Then comes the execution phase, which requires great teams and internal leaders who are able to delegate well.  And as we’ll mention in our next blog about managing perfectionism, nobody is perfect. The ability to adapt and change course is key to success.

Finally, make it enduring. Leave a legacy that matters. According to Dan Pink, today’s workforce is looking for autonomy and purpose. Help your employees find their individual and team purpose, one that aligns with the organization’s purpose.

How do you lead your team through tough times? Do you take control? Or does the team have the autonomy to make its own decisions? Let me know in the comments section.

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