Calling all leaders! If you wear a leadership hat within your organization, facility or department, guess what? You are responsible for creating a culture of engagement. I’m not going to sugar coat it: The responsibility of creating a culture of engagement throughout your organization falls on your shoulders.
The good news: You don’t have to go at this alone! Leadership is not, and shouldn’t be a solitary act. Success comes from mobilizing the talents and commitment of the people around you. When you realize this, that’s the moment you gain the power and momentum for greatness.
While the buck clearly stops with an organization’s top leaders, shaping an engaging workplace is everyone’s business. Here are three strategies for mobilizing your direct reports, and leaders throughout the organization, to garner their commitment and support for your workplace engagement efforts:
1. Mobilize your leaders at all levels.
Announce engagement as an organizational priority and clearly articulate the value an engaged workforce offers the team and the people you serve. Build an enticing vision of the future and then share it continuously in an exciting way. Mobilize your direct reports and use your network of leaders to spread the word to all parts of your organization. Make employee engagement a priority by adding it to every agenda. Set clear expectations that supervisors and managers embed an engagement mindset and practices into everything they do.
2. Hold your team members accountable for building engagement.
As I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to be solely responsible for this initiative. A few ideas:
- After your employee engagement assessment, empower leaders at each level by identifying clear individual goals and targets for taking action and improving engagement in their work unit.
- Build engagement into the performance objectives of leaders at all levels.
- Provide managers with the resources needed to implement their improvement action plans. The more prepared they are, the more likely they’ll stick to the plan.
3. Invest in developing leaders who are engaged and engaging.
It is the role of senior leadership to ensure that those leading throughout their organization have the capabilities needed to support your workforce engagement efforts. Give current and the next generation of leaders the tools they need to influence the hearts and minds of employees around them. Emotional intelligence is a critical competency of engaging leaders and is often characterized by:
- Ability to emphasize with and understand others
- Finely tuned self-awareness
- Capacity to regulate and manage emotions (even in tense situations)
- Proficiency in cultivating strong relationships
As a leader, your behaviors, attitude, and practices all influence the minds and beliefs of employees. But you must empower the people around you to take initiative and get involved with your efforts. Adopt a deliberate, intentional and systematic approach to shaping your culture and I have no doubt you’ll achieve success.