Recently, I have been reading about the founding of our nation and the actions of young Col. George Washington during the French and Indian War.
In 1755, Col. Washington lead a group Virginians along with British troops into battle, and they suffered enormous losses.
Remarkably, George Washington was the only mounted officer not shot down off his horse, and he had been quite vulnerable to injury, since he bravely rode back and forth along the front lines, engaging his troops.
After arriving back at Fort Cumberland, he described what had occurred in battle – that when he had removed his jacket at the end of the battle, he discovered it bore four bullet holes but not a single bullet had touched him. The story of the divine protection of Washington spread across the colonies.
I’ve been writing about one of the best ways for you, as the leader, to take that first step toward a process of engaging your employees. It involves a participative leadership style that I call Engage2Lead and employs the 1-2-3 leadership tool.
The 10 Benefits of Engagement
Every leader can enjoy ten distinct benefits from engaging their employees:
- Employees feel good about themselves because they have a sense of achievement and enjoy receiving recognition for their accomplishments.
- Employees really appreciate being appreciated! They feel useful, and they welcome the opportunity to participate in any decision related to their operations. They enjoy being respected as useful professionals whose opinions are important. They are excited to be respected as valuable “thinkers” as well as “doers.”
- Customers appreciate being dealt with respectfully and are delighted because delighted employees enthusiastically serve them!
- Employees become truly inspired and enhance the organization’s chances for success by virtue of their input.
- Morale and teamwork increase, which leads to improved performance and optimum results. The leaders’ impact is multiplied, not merely added.
- Because employees are involved in the decision-making process, there is buy-in and ownership. Through their early participation, people gain informal pre-training (knowledge and perspective) that helps them effectively implement the decision. It’s no wonder such folks become cheerleaders of the decision.
- Employees who are invited to engage in the process are likely to gain a better understanding of the results they are expected to achieve and “why” it is important to achieve these results.
- Employees who are part of the process feel their opinion is valued and are more likely to be committed to working within the team to achieve the results.
- Employees come to work on time daily, have a good attendance record, work for a higher purpose, and give a full day’s work for their pay.
- As all of these factors come together, organizations experience both highly motivated employees and high-performance teams.
– Clarence Francis
The Goose That Lays the Golden Eggs
Engaged employees are enthusiastic about their work, show initiative, and loyally devote themselves to further the organization’s reputation and interest. This extra level of effort and contribution is called “discretionary effort.”
In business, this is like finding the “goose that lays the golden eggs”. How can you earn such discretionary effort from your team?
By adopting the principles of enhancing relationships as you drive for results – in other words, engage your people. It will take some extra time and effort, but the results will far exceed the additional investment in yourself and others!
Will You Win the War?
When you engage your employees, could I encourage you to focus on “doing the right thing” (like Col. George Washington engaged his troops at the front-line) in the day-to-day “battle” of running your business? Eventually, you will build a culture where people thrive and profits soar, and you will win the war!
Are you engaging your employees with a participative style of leadership? Which of the above 10 benefits of engagement are you already realizing? Please share your experiences <here> and share this article with co-workers and friends. What people are saying about Principled Profits:
“In my role with the John Maxwell Company, I’ve learned and lived leadership with the best of the best. That’s why I so am excited about Bobby Albert and this book, Principled Profits. This book reveals a proven path to exceptional success. Bobby is truly a leader of leaders, and his book offers you a roadmap to values-driven leadership and success. Outward success is indeed an inside job!”
– Mark Cole
CEO of The John Maxwell Company
You can learn more about Principled Profits – Outward Success Is an Inside Job at http://principledprofitsbook.com