The ‘Leadership 101’ is a series of leadership training articles. We started this knowledge base with the goal of bringing different leadership perspectives from all corners of the web into one easily digestible format. In this series we will be looking at HR industry best practices and trends; in an attempt to keep you informed, while adding to your leadership arsenal. In an attempt to keep this forum open we would like to invite you to provide feedback here or through our@Hire4Impact feed on Twitter
Our past articles have been focused on characteristics of engaged leaders, while discussing your organization’s operations and processes that lead to increased employee engagement levels. As retained executive search consultants, effective communication is a major component of our process. To that end, we would be failing you if we neglected to mention how important effective communication practices impact employee engagement and retention.
By now, many of you have started to realize the need for changes within your organization, and perhaps have begun taking steps to implement these changes. Herein lays the question… How do you implement these changes without disrupting your organization’s culture? As we have detailed in our previous articles; effective communication empowers your talent, allows for increased innovation and helps you manage conflict productively. More importantly, it unifies your organization behind one common goal. So with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how effective communication practices can help create a more engaged workforce.
1. Encourage your talent to speak out
Create an environment that allows your talent to provide solutions to problems they are facing. It goes without saying that as a leader, you too should be prepared to listen actively. Communication should be constant and ongoing so your talent doesn’t feel overwhelmed – especially during periods of change. Directives should always be expressed clearly. This reduces misunderstandings and increases employee engagement.
It is essential to follow through on all efforts throughout the organization. If there is ever an instance when you are unable to do so, make sure these developments are communicated [in a timely manner]. Failure to be honest and up-front to your talent leads them to believe they have been lied to; or perhaps worse, that something is wrong. This leads to mistrust which decreases morale and engagement. Avoid this quandary by promoting honesty and being accountable. In short – lead by example.
3. Make practical use of assessment metrics
Effectively using performance reviews and other assessment tests not only saves you money, but they allow you to uncover elements that causing issues within your organization. In addition to allowing open dialogue between your talent, management will be better equipped to deal with the issues that are promoting disengagement.
4. Align your talent behind the mission
In our last ‘Leadership 101’ installment, we talked about establishing a unifying culture. If your talent has not been briefed on your mission, or your core values, then you can’t expect them to bring their ‘A-Game.’
In today’s hectic work environment, these simple tactics are often overlooked. As an engaged leader, it is important that you are devoting time and resources to these practices. This article was inspired by Keith Sheridan, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Consultant of HR Solutions, Inc.