More than 70% of employees’ waking hours are spent doing something related to work. However, according to a 2015 Gallup Organizations employee engagement study tracking interviews of more than 80,000 adults working for an employer, less than half of employees, only 32.0%, are engaged (Adkins, 2016). This is why it is critical that, as a leader, you actively engage your employees—and ensure that they have the discipline and wherewithal to apply their concentration to their work.
The ability to transform one’s emotional attachment to one’s work and performance will vary from situation to situation and from person to person. In the workplace, each individual must demonstrate diverse proficiencies appropriately to meet both individual differences and group differences. Therefore, it is important that a leader co-creates with his or her employees the fundamentals of interaction that is inclusive and will serve greater continuity, engagement, and productivity among all team members.
The information and activities below will help you enhance employee engagement and increase work productivity using the Leadership BOOST CAMP Framework®. BOOST is not designed for regimenting behavior, but rather for mobilizing your team and reaching higher (through proactivity and effort) personally and professionally by implementing solutions that will maximize achievement among employees and leadership. The CAMP is a metaphor for your organization or worksite where the transformation takes shape.
Leadership BOOST CAMP Framework®
The Leadership BOOST CAMP Framework® is based on five phases of a follower high or low engagement and productivity level.
The purpose of the Leadership BOOST CAMP Framework® is to help leaders establish best practices that will help them to:
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND PRODUCTIVITY
Employee engagement is a powerful competitive advantage for you as a leader and your organization and can most often be seen during times of economic turmoil. Active employee engagement does not miraculously come into existence but is created by leaders who establish the optimal conditions.
It is crucial to note that the exact definitions of employee satisfaction and employee engagement differ, although many make the mistake of assuming that they are one and the same.
In general, engaged employees are responding from a sense of satisfaction, motivation, and connection to the organization’s culture and mission. Chances are that an engaged employee is also satisfied, but it’s certainly possible to have a satisfied employee who demonstrates little initiative or is unwilling to put in a great deal of effort to further his or her organization’s success. Although both engagement and satisfaction are important, achieving satisfaction without motivation will have less impact on the results of your business.
As a leader, hiring employees who have demonstrated an intrinsic sense of motivation and engagement can not only help you move your organization forward, but also prove to be a greater influence on your employees’ colleagues. Studies have demonstrated that peers are positively impacted by colleagues who display initiative and interest in their organization’s competitive success and bottom-line results.
According to Scarlett Surveys (as cited in Priya & Vijayadurai, 2014), “Employee engagement is a measurable degree of an employee’s positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues, and organizations, which profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform at work” (p. 5). In essence, engagement is an emotional attachment between an employee and his or her workplace. If employers can learn to tap into it, remarkable results can be achieved.
In order to engage your employees, it is crucial to communicate clearly what your company is doing and why, as well as how this fits into your employees’ natural strengths and stretch areas. You will also want to clarify your strategy for addressing industry competition, and your rationale for your decisions. In demonstrating your personal passion to your team and filling them in on organizational history, mission, and vision, you are essentially seeking their buy-in and infusing them with a dose of your own enthusiasm.
Ask employees what they think will help propel the organization or business forward. Be curious about their opinions and ideas about hiring and recruiting the best and diverse talent, increasing revenues and positive bottom-line results, and developing a team that is willing to do more with less. Do not make the mistake of only considering the feedback of top-tier employees.
Productivity is the means by which your organization achieves positive financial outcomes. In addition, high productivity translates to lower costs and higher revenue and is fueled by highly engaged employees. Conversely, low productivity translates to high costs and low revenue. Do not be afraid to let go of the low performers after additional training, tools, and resources, coaching and team support have been provided. The objective of every profit-oriented organization and also some nonprofit organizations (where resources go back into the business), if at the end of the day, the results that are produced are favorable, useful, constructive, creative, or generative, you have achieved your expected goals in a productive manner.
Managing Employees with Different Behavior Styles
Although it is important that leaders are consistent in their decision-making efforts (how information is used and how options are created) when it comes to managing talent, emphasis on adaptability when it comes to managing employee behavior styles can increase engagement and productivity. The grid below outlines five phases of follower engagement and productivity that are aligned with the Leadership BOOST CAMP Framework® titles. The grid offers suggestions on how to customize your leadership style with employees who have distinct work styles and behaviors so that you can become a better partner to your followers—using the most appropriate leadership style in engaging them.
When team members know that their individual contributions, knowledge, and ideas are meaningful, they will be much more likely to maintain engagement and invest their attention and talent in your organization more intentionally. The theory is that you as the leader have the power to pattern your leadership/coaching style so that you are able to value and leverage diversity of skills and create levels of inclusion that add value to the employee, team and the organization by coming up with innovative ways to follow your employees’ engagement and productivity levels. Varying the amount of direction, inclusion and support you give to your followers will help your employees become more marketable, productive, mission-ready partners.