Get your ducks in a row! Get your stuff together! Shape up! Get organized! These phrases might be ringing in your ears from your parents, your boss, or significant other. But when you think about it, or maybe you don’t have to, these phrases are vague. First, you probably don’t even own any ducks. What stuff and what is stuff anyway? Shape up what? Organize what and where do I begin? In business we use the word alignment. A consultant may come in and say, “Mr. or Ms. CEO, you need to get this organization in alignment.” Again, we’re listening to vague direction. What is alignment, why do we need it, and how do you do it?
Recently an executive I was coaching said that when she told her father she was going into banking, his reply was, “You need to go into a field that helps people and can save the world.” These types of messages can roll around in our heads all our lives. They cause us to doubt ourselves, to second guess our decisions, and they kill our motivation. Gary Burnison, CEO of Korn Ferry, wrote an article entitled, “Waking Up With No Alarm.” The article addresses how a person who is truly excited about his/her job doesn’t need an alarm clock to start the day.
There is so much concern today about disengagement, demotivation, tangled relationships, the inability to set and achieve goals, and feelings of having no power. Managers are unsure of how to motivate their reports. What’s the point, or better yet, what’s the connection?
There is a clear connection between engagement, performance and profit. Recruiting talented candidates is not enough; it’s crucial that people are assigned to the specific roles where their talents will have the greatest impact on achieving company goals, and where they are most likely to remain onboard fully engaged.
Leadership has certainly become a hot topic. Employee engagement is another hot topic. Some people might want to add to both of these…“or the lack thereof.” Some of you may be asking, “What has this got to do with the price of tea in China?” The topics of and solutions to both good leadership and positive employee engagement are joined at the hip and here’s how.
Poor leadership can lead to poor employee engagement. On the other hand, employees want to be more autonomous and want to be and recognized as leaders in organizations. So, is achieving effective leadership and employee engagement a wash? Not at all, in fact, one hand washes the other and here’s how.
“It’s lonely at the top” is a metaphor we often hear. Top echelon leaders need all the help they can get. Some leaders fear that giving everyone leadership status will cause utter chaos. However, we cannot expect our leaders to be all things to all people. In fact, one source suggests that organizations could use a good restructuring in that the pyramidal organization puts too much pressure on the few at the top. Ideas and accountability for an organization’s success needs to be spread throughout a company.