Creating long term success!

The long-term success and growth of any business depends on the commitment of every team member to work in partnership with colleagues and leaders. Such commitment from team members starts with leaders who care about their team and involve them in decision making, in order to create a positive climate.

To be a great business requires team members to go the extra mile. A team will only do this if they are engaged in also developing the business’ direction; its vision and its goals. Fired up if they are motivated by the values which the business has and will be driven if they are supported to grow as individuals.  Self-confidence is gained along with self-worth if your team are valued for their wider contribution. 

Only 17% of UK employees are truly engaged in their work!

Disastrously, according to a poll conducted by Gallup, only 17% of UK employees are truly engaged in the work they do.  57% do the bare minimum required by their job and 26% are actively disengaged and trying to sink the ship. It is also likely that the statistics would be similar elsewhere in the world. How much better off would we all be if 17% was actually 27%. What if it was 50% or even 75%? 

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If the owner or leadership team of a business actively demonstrates that they value team members by communicating with them, listening to them and protecting them from overload, who knows what might be achieved? in fact, any business will be stronger and more profitable when people are genuinely working together. The question is, where do we begin in creating the change needed to achieve the levels of team engagement in twenty first century business, which could make so much difference to us all? What are the first steps in turning the blurred vision of the owner into a reality which team members actively and enthusiastically support and take steps towards every day? 

Lead, don’t manage and always plan!

There are two fundamentals; The first is an owner and leadership team who have the determination to improve and who see the importance of doing so. The second fundamental is a plan. Let’s focus on the latter! ‘Fail to Plan and Plan to Fail’ is an axiom so over-used that we have become immune to its truth. We convince ourselves as Owners and Leaders that we can keep it in our heads and maybe there are a lucky few who can. However, whilst the boss may know where he or she is going, at least in a vague sense, everyone else in the business is largely unaware. There is little co-ordination to the levers being pulled by everyone and the business lurches from one side of the road to the other. The result is that the owner is continually frustrated with team members who, seemingly, fail to do what is expected of them. 

Work in partnership to create a positive culture

The purpose of any planning process is to create a framework for optimism, pride and enthusiasm about the future. If you fail to win the hearts and minds of the very people who will be responsible for putting that plan into action, how can a business genuinely become great? In fact, it’s the process, not the final product or plan which really matters. Planning and involvement must become embedded in the culture of the business. Actually, great planning is concerned with ‘negotiating consent’ to gain a level of ‘buy in’ where team members reach for the stars rather than just vaguely stretch upwards.

Planning is an educative process. It can help all team members to see the big picture and be communicated with as clearly and explicitly as possible. Let’s be honest! It is also a control mechanism where targets are set and success criteria are established for everyone in the business, including the leader. Ideally, planning  is a top down AND bottom up process. It is about creating quantum leap changes and activating the potential in every team member to generate innovation and break-through. Where longer term planning does not exist, daily ‘to do’ lists simply reinforce the status quo and the business never really fulfils its potential 

Address that engagement gap continually!

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Our society today afflicts us with the urgent and the immediate. Everything is about ‘fast’ and ‘just in time’. We are driven to strive for overnight success and our culture increasingly encourages us to look for the short cut to success. It seems too that within business, we are all on a train hurtling along at 200 miles per hour and it is preventing us from doing the very thing that will almost guarantee success. To step off the train, pause for breath and reflect seems dangerous. It feels reckless and creates a sense that we will be left behind. However, every business owner who genuinely values their team and wants to create a business with a sense of purpose and mission must step off the runaway train every so often and create a plan. We should all be seeking to do something about the woeful figure of 17%! Who knows what the world might look like for the next generation if we really address the ‘engagement gap’? 

So if you are looking for one approach your business can take, to create much higher levels of team engagement, then get in touch for a gifted session with one of our coaches

Written by Kerry Malster