According to Gallup, “An alarming 70% of American employees aren’t working to their full potential, and they’re slowing economic growth.”
But Gallup also discovered that “organizations with an average of 9.3 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee in 2010-2011 experienced 147% higher earnings per share (EPS) compared with their competition.”
If you’re looking for ways to beat the competition, you may do well to look instead at your current employee engagement rate. The fact is, if you have employees who love what they do and feel valued in their work, engagement will happen as a welcome side effect. And the results of engagement translate to higher company earnings.
How can you create an engaged – and therefore profitable – workforce?
Have a Strengths-based Leadership Focus
The strongest teams are those where each individual is operating at least 70% of the time in their strengths. Working in a natural strength, as opposed to having to learn it – or worse – adjust to it, gives an employee the advantage. They will naturally be more efficient and more productive if they are operating in their strengths zone. Sounds easy enough. Yet, in many organizations, employees are trying to squeeze into molds that just don’t fit them because the leaders do not recognize the value of strengths-based focus. It’s not much different from wearing shoes that don’t fit – it causes complaints and pain. The solution isn’t to stop walking, but to get a better-fitting pair of shoes!
Onboard and Develop Great Talent
When recruiting, look for the best talent out there – not only in experience and skills, but especially in hard-wired strengths that fit the position. Skills can be developed, and experience can be gained, but strengths are innate. You cannot change them, but you can build an amazing team on them if you are intentional.
We tend to think of accountability as a negative idea – almost a punishment. The fact is, accountability is simply being responsible to someone for something. Look for people who hold themselves accountable for their own actions – who take responsibility seriously. A team of responsible individuals is a strong team. This self-accountability lessens the need for micro-management and expands the capacity for growth.
Create the Leader / Coach Model
We all remember someone in our life who mentored us. Whether it was a parent, teacher, coach, or business mentor, they contributed to us the wealth of their experience. In such a scenario, both the mentor and the mentee grow. Your goal as a leader should be to create other leaders. Sharing your experience helps your team members grow, and in fostering their growth, you will grow as well.
Have a Culture that Rewards and Expects Collaboration
The default nature of a diverse workforce tends to fraction. And if you remember math class, fractions are divisions of a whole. As a leader, you want to aim for multiplication. How do you do this? You create a culture where strengths are honored and rewarded, collaboration is actively promoted, and leaders promote engagement across the organization. When it comes to collaboration, if the culture expects it, it happens. The word itself sounds like “co-labor.” Are your people “co-laboring” or are they divided? Have you set a culture of collaboration in your organization?
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.