Guest Writer - Brenda Berg
No matter whether you’re running a small business or a multi-national corporation when something new happenings in your business and you’re telling them about it, do they listen intently and take everything on board, or rather pretend they’re listening before dragging their feet back to work?
If so, how engaged would you rate the leaders of your business, whether they’re managers, line managers, team leaders or individuals anywhere between the employee-owner ends of the scale?
In most cases, asking these two questions to yourself will quickly correlate what’s going on in your business. If your employees are disengaged, the chances are your managers and leaders are too. Today, we’re going to explore why this is an issue and what you can do to resolve it.
Leaders Lead the Way
Of course, whether your employees agree or not, they look up to the leaders of your business for guidance and how to act. If a manager isn’t engaged in the business they’re working in, then why would they?
Leaders set the tone for the business with the way they act, the way they treat the staff and the way they treat the business itself. In fact, for this to work properly, leaders should be even more engaged in the business than the employees are in order to maintain this tone.
In its basic form, leaders will enroll in their positions, and they'll be excited by the prospects that lay ahead of them. However, once the novelty of the position wears thin, their level of engagement can drop, which then has a domino effect on the rest of the business.
Turning It Around
While it now seems clear why engaging leaders in your business is so important, that doesn’t answer the question of how you can re-engage your leaders, ultimately resulting in your employees becoming more engaged and, therefore, more productive and profitable. Here are some things you can consider.
Building Trust in Your Leaders
If you’re constantly micro-managing everything your leaders and managers do, constantly checking up on them and asking them to report in about what they’re up to, these individuals aren’t going to believe that you have any trust in them.
This will only result in them becoming more and more disengaged with your business since they’ll believe you’re running the show and there’s simply no point to their position. Trust your leaders to carry out their own jobs, and they'll feel a lot more responsibility for their role. Therefore, becoming more engaged in your business.
You can create handover sheets and places for your leaders to report in in their own time. These can be easily created using the templates of business email writing sites like Paper Fellows.
Offer Chances to Engage
It’s all well and good allowing your leaders to engage and do their jobs, but that means they’re just doing their jobs. There’s no room or vision of opportunity for them to progress or to feel true job satisfaction.
This is where you need to start offering chances for your leaders to prove themselves. If you’re running a new project, instead of trying to operate it behind the scenes, get your leaders on board to help, or even to run the project themselves. Just be sure to set up requirements for them to follow.
“If your leaders are responsible for certain aspects of the business where their performance is monitored by the results of a project, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll be more engaged in making it work” shares Nick Thompson, a leadership coach for Australian Help.
Provide an Open Company Culture
Regardless of what position you’re in within a business, you’ll only be realistically aware of what’s going on in your immediate circles and workplace. The only way you’ll know what your ground-floor employees are doing is from feedback from your leaders.
This goes to show that your leaders will know themselves, and your employees, better than anyone else, which is why it’s so important that you offer an open company culture where difficult problems can be openly spoken about. If you’re looking for these ways, you can use the resources from blogs like State of Writing and Via Writing to improve your verbal and written communication skills for this purpose.
Taylor Harper, an HR manager for Resumention says, “If a leader is scared or, in other ways, unwilling to talk to you about a certain subject, especially if that’s a problem, this is the furthest you can be from an engaged leader. Allow them to approach you with problems and make them fully aware that they can talk to you about anything. There are no problems, only solutions”.
You Are a Team
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember although there’s a chain of command, to prevent obvious chaos, you, your leaders and the rest of your employees are all a team that is working together to achieve a common goal.
This means you need to think about how your leaders are feeling about the business, how you feel and how your employees feel. By caring for everybody within your business, you’ll be able to address any problems that come up and will only contribute to your success.
By caring about the people in your business, you’ll also be engaging them far more than usual because they’ll be happy to work for a business that is looking out for their needs. If you’re looking for ways to reconnect your team, like setting up communication opportunities, or by creating help forms using tools like Academized.
Lead By Example
Finally, to conclude our list of methods to help you re-engage the leaders of your business, it’s important that you lead by example. The leaders underneath you will look up to you to see how you are treating your staff and, of course, them.
If you act or come across as disengaged in the business, or disconnected to them, this is how they are going to treat their teams and your employees, resulting in everybody becoming disconnected from the business, therefore, dramatically affecting productivity and your overall success.
As you can see, there are many ways and reasons to ensure that your leaders are engaged with your business and how it can benefit your company. Be aware of the things you say, the actions you take and the way you treat people and you can be sure the success of your business will sky-rocket.
About the Writer
Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs at Oxessays. She believes that constant learning is the only way to success. You can visit her personal blog at Letsgoandlearn.com