Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Employee Engagement and Leadership

Business needs are not just driven by your external customers and need but also subject to your internal customers. Employees are the key to internal customer’s satisfaction level and different aspects of engagement are put in place in organizations to achieve high internal customer satisfaction. Leaders play the most pivotal role in communicating and giving the message of being an internal customers to Employees.

Ram Charan outlines five steps to engage employees and talks about how attitudes, feelings and emotions that makes work enjoyable and ignites people's energy to do more than they thought they could. Great leaders understand the numbers, but they also touch people's hearts.

1. Spend time and listen.There's no substitute for personal interaction. Even the most competent, motivated professionals can lose focus, energy, and commitment when their interaction with the boss dwindles. Some people will assume others have your ear and feel less important. Others will simply feel overlooked and underappreciated.

2. Help people see why their work is important.It's hard to feel engaged when you're working in a vacuum. You can help people see their individual contribution as part of a bigger picture.

3. Give people honest feedback.
When people aren't meeting expectations, let them know that, too, so that they have a chance to improve. Don't let your disappointments build and fester. If you talk to people regularly there'll be no surprises.

4. Take an interest in people's careers.People will be all the more committed to their work when they know you're the kind of leader who is truly interested in their success. Look for what people are naturally good at and work with them to find ways that they can leverage their talents. This applies to your underperformers as well as your superstars.

5. Take an interest in the person beyond the job.Not every conversation should be about work. People have lives outside of work; indeed, some people are very different outside of their jobs. People will know you care about them if you take time to learn what's important in their lives.

The Full Measure of Leadership

It's in your daily behavior, and it's your energy that creates energy in others. It's that simple.

Put your beliefs into action. Treat people like human beings with full lives, personal ambitions, and both the desire and the right to be valued and heard. Is it different from what you see around you? Maybe so, but that's what leadership is all about.

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