You would not be driving your car if the wheels were coming off, would you? You would call your local mechanic and ask for help. Now suppose he tells you that your car is so badly misaligned that it should not be driven until it is realigned. Wouldn't you get it realigned immediately?
Now what about your work team or your company? Are you operating a business that is badly misaligned?
Before the wheels come off your business, stop! Ask yourself this question: “Have I clearly communicated the objectives, the goals, or our direction to our team?” If the answer is yes you are a focused leader who empowers engaged employees who in turn create loyal customers. If you are not so sure here are some things to consider.
Alignment starts with the focused leader. You may be the owner, the manager, or CEO but that does not mean you are seen as the leader. You may be the manager but your team will follow you if you are the leader. As managers we can influence the process through which people recognize our leadership by creating an environment where people will join “the team” because they see the purpose of what they are supposed to do and understand the vision, the “big picture” as well as the values of the organization for which they work. Today’s fast-moving business environment demands that the effective leader be both, a well-organized administrator and highly adept in understanding people’s basic needs and behavior in the workplace. Be open with your communication. Share the vision and values but also share your goals. Also, share organizational results. Keeping secrets breeds distrust. The most successful businesses and business leaders conduct “open book” management. This is the way to gain trust and commitment.
You need to engage your employees. Since the business environment is always changing and evolving, the way we do business and communicate must also change with the environment. Some engagement drivers may have shifted. Be aware. Many findings in older Gallop engagement surveys are important while other points relating to economy and generations have begun to show up. For example, the desire of employees to have the opportunity to do what they do best is still important as is being recognized for a job well done.
A study released in October 2012 conducted by MSW Research and Dale Carnegie Training surveyed 1500 employees nationally. Results showed only 29% of employees are fully engaged while 26% are disengaged. Bottom line is that in all of these surveys many employees listed similar key drivers for engagement, such as their relationship with their immediate supervisor, belief in senior leadership, and pride in working for the company. That needs to be addressed by business leaders. Disengaged employees do not contribute and worse, they could alienate your customers.
Loyal customers are absolutely necessary for success. Careless unengaged employees can ruin a business by driving away customers. Does the team know how to measure loyalty, how to wow customers, and how to deliver on and exceed expectations? The right people need to be placed in the right positions. Jim Collins talks about this when he says, “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats”. Then focus of the vision, the goals, train, develop, and engage.
Focused leaders with engaged employees will result in loyal customers and more business success. You can read a different version of this article titled IS EVERY EMPLOYEE ON YOUR TEAM ALIGNED on our website.