This is the second of 14 special blog posts in the Wake Up & Shake It Up Blog series. We’ve got 12 guest bloggers. Today I share my thoughts…
I need you to do one thing before you read any further. I need you to silence the skeptic voice in your head. I’m asking you to read the rest of this blog from a perspective of what’s possible.
In organizations across the country the mood is anxious, at minimum. Not in all, but definitely in most. And it’s time to shift the mood to one of optimism.
Your organization can’t afford to wallow in the muck that’s accumulating around everyone’s feet. It’s time to engage your employees. Research from Hewitt Associates put the price tag of employee disengagement at $10,000 per employee in annual profits.
To shift the mood requires your uncommon leadership.
Here are 3 ways you can restore optimism at work by reengaging your people through uncommon leadership acts.
Help Employees Self-Actualize: Yup, you read it here. I was chastised by a VP in HR for believing this. Here’s the reality: your employees spend more time at work then they do at home. They are giving up precious time to work on themselves. Gone are the days where employees separate their work-self from their “real-self.” Help employees grow personally and professionally and then get out of their way. Let them show you their appreciation for recognizing them as a whole person with interests outside the company.
Human Engagement: Social media is helping us reconnect with each other. Amazing conversations are happening; collaboration is taking on new forms. This blog series was made possible because of social media – Twitter specifically. Apply what social media is re-teaching us: engage your people through authentic conversations that aren’t spruced up with fancy presentations, impersonal emails, or rehearsed, recorded speeches.
Walk amongst your people. Sit down with them at lunch. Learn about who they are. Share who you are. People want to connect – it’s in our nature as human beings.
Own Up to the Impacts from Drastic Cuts: Many organizations made tough personnel decisions because of the economy. When it comes to profit and employees, organizations think short-term and hack the workforce to save profits. It only unravels a host of problems in the long run that I can’t explore in this particular blog post.
If you made personnel cuts you need to know that it hurt your employees more than you know. Talk about it. Don’t let it go unmentioned. Discussing the impacts helps the healing. And trust me, there are some companies out there who are in serious need of healing.
And if this all sounds very touchy-feely, recall my request of you at the beginning of this blog post. Uncommon leadership means rewiring your style to connect with your employees as people, on a human level, not as a means to profit.
So, what are you willing to take on? Share what action you’ll take to restore optimism in your workplace.
Your comments could be included in the commemorative, free eBook highlighting reader’s experiences. The eBook will come out in July after this series ends.
P.S. If you want a real world example, read this HBR blog post.