(Published in The Arkansas Banker)
Imagine having more DDA, Mortgage and Trust customers than you can handle, triple digit revenue increases year after year and Twitter, Facebook and Periscope ablaze from customers singing your praises. The best companies are the result of their people. No two alike; each bringing a dynamic difference to the workplace. Does your environment allow your people to bring their full selves, making the unassailable difference for your organization? Or do you force them into your proverbial box like 24 crayons in a box of Crayola?
Employee engagement is a critical consideration for leaders and companies that want to perform at the highest levels. Unfortunately, the research data is staggering. Many like global research and consulting firm Gallup indicate roughly three quarters of American workers are disengaged.
Engaged employees provide many benefits to their organizations: enhanced customer service, increased productivity, and improved retention. Bankers are realizing their firms cannot afford to ignore the responsibility of keeping their team members engaged.
The Strategy To Getting The Most From Your Team Members
While there are five Dimensions to the “whole’ employee, we’ll assume we’re addressing the Professional Dimension here. Diving a little deeper, let’s address the five-part Strategy to getting the most from your employees. Shhh, I’ll let you in on a little secret. This can also be used for product development, significant others and yourself. When wanting to more deeply connect, ample time must be spent around the following:
Humans, and consequently employees desire to be in a consistent state of growth. Developmental meetings are a great place to discuss the 5 strategy elements to deeper engagement to get the most out of your talent. Understand where your employee is headed. Or said differently, what Fields does she wish to “play on?” Where is it that she would like her career to go? This is a good time to gain insight around whether you have a long-term employee, or one that considers her calling elsewhere.
What are the essential Connections necessary to move from where he is today, to where it is he aspires to be? Whether in another division of your firm, the office next door or The Peace Corp, it is essential that as a leader we understand where our talent aspires to be and how to be helpful in getting them there.
Few of us really take the time to understand our point of Differentiation. What is it that makes us so special in the context of our role or future roles? You’ve likely picked up by now this system is forward looking. You are meeting them where they are, and assisting in their growth.
Equally as important as knowing the Connections necessary and Differentiation, one must understand the Sequence of events that need to occur to get them to where it is they aspire to be. Many of us want to go from midnight to morning in just minutes. Fortunately, it’s not that easy. There are reasons we can’t sell, until we get our Series 6. As we consider the generational differences in the workplace, this conversation may have varying tones and speed aspirations. With Millennials projected to be 75% of the US workforce by 2025, we should get comfortable with an expeditious timeline.
Ultimately, as leaders it is incumbent upon us to assist our talent to realize the Impact they make in their current role and will make in their aspiring position. Depending on the motivation for the aspiration, your employee may realize the position they aspire to, doesn’t align with the impact they wish to make.
Pizza parties and ice cream socials are nice and may in fact make your employees happy momentarily. However, your company would be much better served by implementing plans tailored to the particular capabilities and aspirations of your employees. Not only is this a much more effective way to make employees feel more connected with the goals and mission of the company, it has the added benefit of showing your team members that you are committed and care about them individually, not just to the extent that they fit into the organization at large. As leaders, you are engaged.