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How to get more engagement from your people

People follow people. A leader can have made the best plans, put the most efficient systems in place and devised great strategies but to get real engagement, they have to provide the inspiration for others to embrace all those practices: they have to show up to lead.

Inspiring others to action requires a self confident, optimistic leader who connects with the people in a way that’s meaningful - to them.

“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles;

but today it means getting along with others”

Mahatma Gandhi

Here are three crucial components to get right for a highly engaged, committed team.

Talk to your employees. In person is best, but if that’s not possible, use the plethora of technology available to you to reach out to them. Talk to them with respect and compassion and ask for their feedback and suggestions for improvement in the business processes and systems. Encouraging them to contribute will raise their level of engagement and commitment. People are engaged through relationship, they need to feel that they are significant and valuable to the organisation.

Let your people know who you are. Don’t hide behind polite conversation and guarded responses. Be real, let people know who you are and what you stand for. Be transparent about what your values are – in the business and personally. Anyone who really doesn’t agree with your values will move on, and that’s a good thing! Be yourself and surround yourself with people who share your perspective on what’s important. This creates energy, a sense of purpose and meaning for everyone in the company.

Recognise and acknowledge them for successes more than you critique them for failures. Make sure you focus on noticing more of what’s going well than what’s going wrong. Focus on the good stuff and your people will do more of it. Be enthusiastic and responsive when they go the extra mile or perform really well. This lets people know that their efforts are appreciated and valued which encourages them to grow and contribute more.

When people know and respect the person leading them and are a valued part of a positive, values-based organisation, they are motivated to do their best. When a company is structured in a way that meets the employees’ important human needs for respect, appreciation and being valued, the people themselves will commit to making it a success because it really is in their best interests to do so.

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