As our economy finds its way out of this pandemic, there are still the lingering impact it had on all of us as individuals. Each of us has experienced any number of adversities; economic pain, virtual learning, fear of sickness, and more. (Along with some level of isolation, or at very least, significantly fewer social interactions. And in sales, when it is quite common to have a team of extroverts, the lack of interaction can be emotionally draining.)
It is a given that your team has been asked to dig deep and we have all been doing everything we can to get back to pre-covid levels of performance and results. At this moment, with the challenges of 2020 as a backdrop, this may be one of the most critical times to invest in re-engaging and energizing your workforce.
There was a recent study conducted by The Harvard Business Review – Engaging Your Employees Is Good, but Don’t Stop There (hbr.org) – and it found that engaged employees produce 44% more than that of a satisfied employee and more than double that of an employee who is considered un-satisfied in their role. (Satisfaction and engagement being measured by key needs being met, in a sort of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, specific to a work setting.) Another interesting finding was that an inspired employee will do 225% of what a satisfied employee accomplishes! Unfortunately, transforming an engaged team to an inspired team will have to be a discussion for another day.
So how does one go about engaging or re-engaging their team? Well, one simple way to venture down that path, is to figure out what people are really good at. Identify your teams – and your induvial team members – strengths. Those areas are likely going to be the same things that will energize them. Run a SWOT, have candid one-on-ones; identify what they excel at and then find ways to empower them to do those things more often, complimenting others in the group, while the whole team drives to a common goal.
Sounds simple and conceptually it is, but one thing you may run into is that this concept can go directly against some of our ingrained instincts. Conventional wisdom prescribes to the idea that leaders should invest their time correcting weaknesses, and with that, performance will improve. And that make sense, right? But then again, what does that do to one’s drive, motivation, passion, job satisfaction? (All these intangible buzz words synonymous with engagement)
Should you still develop your team members in areas essential to their success in the role? Well, of course. And are your team members still required to meet a minimum acceptable threshold in all areas, whether it is their strength or weakness? Yes, clearly. However, don’t lose sight of the exponential gains associated with creating a highly engaged workforce, and be intentional about finding ways to energize your team.
Maybe that is the spark your folks are needing to shake off the challenges of 2020 and to attack the rest of 2021!