There are two perspectives from which you can approach this matter:

Either as the manager of your direct reports - this is the one-on-one perspective. Or as the top leader of your organization - this is the systemic perspective.

There is no one single skill - by itself - that will help you gain the hearts and minds of your employees to your organization's cause; however, here we mention ten of the most important things you can do - you will easily distinguish whether they are to be done by the direct supervisor (one-on-one perspective) or by the top leadership team (systemic perspective); yet, some of these items apply to both.

Here is the list in no particular order:

First: The relationship between the manager and the direct report must be based on trust, candor, and care. The more meaningful this relationship is to both parties (manager and direct report), the more the employee will engage herself at the workplace. Note: The degree of your authenticity, integrity and humility as a manager will determine the quality of this relationship.

Second: The employee must have a clear sense of how his work impacts the final client, the bottom line, and the Vision of the organization. The more the employee comprehends how his work is interlinked with the big picture, the more his motivation to contribute to it.

Third: There must be organizational clarity: Your workforce must know what is most important today, next month, next quarter, and what they need to do in order to accomplish it. Motivation and engagement soar when everybody is rowing in the same direction and when there is a real sense of teamwork.

Fourth: The performance appraisal process must be both fair and transparent. Fairness and justice translates into trust, and trust into commitment.

Fifth: Feedback - which is an integral part of the previous items - must nourish (to improve performance) and nurture (to build self-esteem and motivation) your employees in an ongoing basis. Feedback from both: from the work itself (from measurements, from internal and/or external clients, etc.), and from the employees' direct supervisors. Note: One of the most powerful motivators is genuine positive feedback from the direct supervisor.

Sixth: The employee's hard-skills and soft-skills must match his updated clear-cut job description's functions - otherwise, performance and commitment won't be high.

Seventh: Every single employee must have clear goals - or to be more explicit: SMART goals. Unclear goals are a primary cause of de-motivation and low performance.

Eighth: Organizational Core Values. Your organization's enacted Values (the Values that are actually lived every day in your organization) must be the same as your organization's Espoused Values (the Values that your organization claims to have). For example: top leadership must breathe, behave, and relentlessly reinforce the core values throughout the entire organization. What does this have to do with engagement at the workplace? Everything! If employees don't share the organization's core values, commitment, motivation, and engagement are less likely to happen. You don't teach people to learn and acquire new values because it's impossible - you can't. Rather, you hire people that already share your organization's core values.

Ninth: Your employees must perceive your organization's Mission as a dignified purpose and a worthy cause. In other words, top leadership must be able to translate your company's Mission into passion.

Tenth: The level of the compensation that your company pays to your employees must be within the top 25 percentile (top quartile) of your industry.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to here from you - just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you would like future e-zines to be about - I'm listening.

Feel free to re-send this e-zine to your boss, to your employees, to your colleagues, etc.

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Recent Past issues:
Values and Performance Appraisal
Trust within a Team
Communication Environments
Performance Appraisal
Goal Setting
Have outstanding employees
Leadership vs Management
Behavior vs Attitude
Types of Feedback
Feedback and Motivation

See you next month!
Jose Luis Romero - Publisher
January 5, 2010. Copyright: All rights reserved
Skills2Lead Ezine is published on the first Tuesday of every month

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