The Employee Engagement Network, hosted by David Zinger, has an e-book titled: “Employee Engagement- Powerful Sentences of Advice for Managers”.
Over 100 experts on employee engagement, including yours truly, contributed the one most importance sentence of advice they have for managers who want to improve the engagement of their employees.
While one sentence of advice can hardly cover the complexities of the topic, I found it an interesting challenge.
Here’s what I wrote:
“Engagement is about capturing the hearts and minds of your team, open your heart and show you believe in them and truly care about them as people and they will move mountains.” – Tom Rausch
Let’s face it, most managers have little control of the over-arching factors that have a significant effect on employee engagement. They typically have little influence in shaping the vision and values of the company, the behavior and communication practices of the top leaders, or employee benefits and development budgets within their organization. Yet great leaders can thrive in almost any circumstance, and great supervisors or managers can inspire employee engagement and loyalty, often notwithstanding what is going on in the larger organizational culture.
Have you ever been lucky enough to work for a manager whose belief in you and in the co-workers on your team was absolute and unshakable, who consistently and open-heartedly demonstrated their concern for each you as unique and valuable individuals?
Unfortunately, it is rare. Too rare. While I have had some great bosses over my career, I can’t honestly say that I have ever experienced that level of leadership excellence.
I have seen examples of it. I remember seeing a speech by the great coach Jimmy Valvano, head coach at North Carolina when his underdog team upset a vastly more talented Houston team for the NCAA championship in 1983. When asked about the secret to motivating a team to succeed despite insurmountable odds, he would point to the magic of really believing in his people. He often believed in his people more than they believed in themselves, and that unshakable belief is what made his team overcome the odds. Coach Valvano was a man who lived with an open-heart, someone who loved and cared deeply for the people in his work life as well as his family life.
Most of us save our love for family and a few close friends.
Maybe that’s why it is so unusual to find managers who care deeply about their people as people. The old adage “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” has been attributed to many authors and has been used in many professions. If you are a mid-level or front-line manager in a larger organization, it is the single most effective way to improve employee engagement on your team. It also happens to be the most rewarding and way to live your life.
Visit http://www.jimmyv.org/ for more open-hearted inspiration. Then download a no cost copy of the e-book for 100 more great one sentence ideas to improve employee engagement.