Be Engaged

Are you engaged?

Be Engaged

I’m not talking about the pre-wedding step where a man and woman announce to the world their intentions about getting married.

The normal definition of engaged is to be committed, involved in an activity, greatly interested.

In our business world, being engaged is to be completely involved in the business’s activities and focused on providing the greatest opportunity for success through achieving the goals of the company.

Why be an Engaged Leader

Gallup’s 2017 data on employee engagement shows that 85 percent of American workers are not engaged in their work: 67 percent are not engaged, while 18 percent are actively disengaged.

Together, this means that more than four out of five employees are less motivated to be productive, which ultimately will affect the business’s profitability, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

Successful businesses are aware of this statistic.  Employee engagement is “the positive emotional connection an employee has to their work and their workplace.”  In short, engaged employees care about their work, are committed to their organizations, and want to give more than is required or expected.

Of all the efforts attempted to engage employees, the most successful is for the leadership to be engaged first.

Employee engagement studies and surveys consistently cite management and leadership’s credibility as a crucial factor in improving employee engagement. Successful businesses understand that if employees don’t believe in the messenger, they won’t believe the message.

How to be an Engaged Leader

As small business owners and entrepreneurs, we need to get our employees engaged.

The more successful we are at engaging our staff, the better chance we will have at beating our competition, successfully launching new business ventures, and being a profitable enterprise.

Here are several suggestions to help leaders be more engaging themselves.

  1. Take an interest in people’s lives. Studies show that engaged leaders take a genuine interest in their employee’s lives.  They ask what’s going on, listen deeply, and remember the details.  Great engaged leaders follow up to see what support they can provide to all their employees.
  2. Make people feel good about themselves. Not feeling recognized is the most prevalent reason people quit their jobs. Catching them in the act of doing something right and extending praise benefits not only the employee but the rest of the staff as well.
  3. Be positive and optimistic. Research shows that leaders who have a 5 – 1 positive to negative ratio or more are most admired. So, be optimistic and positive about your life, position, and company. People thrive and want to be around positive, optimistic leaders.
  4. Add value. Give positive feedback to your employees with the intention of helping them grow. Studies show that employees (especially younger ones) want feedback, not just at formal appraisal time, but all the time.
  5. Ask more questions. People want to know that their opinions matter and that their leaders hear them. Not being heard is the second more cited reason people quit their jobs.

The Bible

Titus 2:7-8 says.

In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

Titus was a student of the Apostle Paul that was sent to minister in Crete.  He was young and inexperienced, so the book of Titus is a great assemblage of advice from Paul to Titus.

Paul’s advice is still powerful today, two thousand years later, and, as seen in the verses above, advises Titus on some of the critical requirements to be an engaging leader.

Do good, teach, show integrity, be serious about your actions, and be careful about how you respond to people.   We cannot go wrong by following that advice in all our actions and all our dealings.