Relationship between employee engagement and performance

You can see clearly now

High employee engagement level usually resulted in high performance. For engagement, leaders must treat those whom they lead with consideration and respect (I need to keep this in mind) and earn their respect in return. Start by avoiding the “blind spots” that impede your leadership and block your vision.

As a leader, the cultural change begins with you!

Leadership Blind Spots

What I meant by blind spots are those of faulty ideas in management practices which includes mistaken concepts that send people down blind alleys. Leader’s blind spots can derails organizations and generate employee cynicism and apathy.

Here are some of the 5 primary blind spots which can be hugely destructive

1. Purpose

The core belief behind this blind spot is that “Purpose matters, but it doesn’t drive our numbers”. Profit matters more. The reality is that today’s employees want to work for firms whose purpose they both respect and support.

Therefore, leaders must make purpose vital to their organizations.

Unfortunately, while many leaders tout their devotion to purpose, research indicates that up to 90% of employees don’t think that the stated mission really drives their organization. This great difference can turn your employees into a bitter or resentful cynics.

In order to cure this blind spot, executives must ask themselves:

Do my daily words and actions support my organization’s declared purpose?

If all we talk about is about boosting numbers, take a step back and rethink your message. Remember that an admirable purpose and impressive profits are not mutually exclusive objectives; organizations can readily achieve both.

Simon Sinek once said in his infamoua Ted Talk, purpose doesn’t concern what you do but rather “why you do what you do?”

2. Story

This blind spot says, “We have a compelling story to tell that our people care about.”

In fact most firms’ backstories are boring banalities (unoriginal) that turn employees off and never inspire them. Most organization don’t do a good job of developing strong stories about their origins, activities, intentions and future plans. Most executives think their companies’ stories deliver the necessary messages, but most employees would disagree.

Leaders must take off their blinkers, recognize their platitudes as tedious, and replace them with compelling stories that inspire employees and stakeholders. Your stories should touch your people’s hearts. To achieve this goal, tell stories about how your employees’ contribution to help make your company special.

3. Engagement

This blind spot is the belief that “rational… presentations engage the hearts and mind of people.”

The reality is that you can’t win people over with logic, facts, data-driven reports.

However, you win people over when you engage with them in meaningful dialogue, and appealing to their emotions. Leaders must put away their powerpoint slides and discussion points and start to talk with their employees in a relevant, respectful and ongoing exchange.

You must engage employees when you speak to their emotions.

Author Alan Deutschman advises leaders to move away from standard heavy-handed refrains commonly repeated in communications to employees. These include “force” (we’d better change), “facts” (the need for change is obvious) and “fear” (without change, we’re in big trouble). Instead, structure your communication around hope. Evoking optimism and faith in the future requires “authentic conversations,” rather than “well-scripted presentations”.

4. Trust

This blind spot rests on believing that “people will not do the right thing unless you tell them what to do and hold themselves accountable to do it.” In reality, if you force your employees to stick to a rigid scripts, you severely limit what they can accomplish as individuals with singular talents and capabilities. Instead, trust them and let them become their best selves. This is where greatness lies for both the employees and organizations.

Without rules and regulations, organizations can fall apart. The challenge is to walk the fine line between controlling employees and trusting them ti use their wise judgment at work.

In order to meet this challenge, we need to

  1. establish clear priorities
  2. provide context for wise these priorities are important
  3. invite employees to leverage their strengths whenever that makes sense

5. Truth

This blind spot comes from thinking that “My people feel safe telling me what they really think and feel.”

The reality, in many organizations, no truth-telling exist, whether in formal meetings or during discussions among employees and executives. Employees fear that if they candidly their boss will demote them, fire them or in most instances push them aside.

This insidious fear can cripple positive relationships among employees and their leaders and poison the work environment. Leaders must find practical ways to un-link worry, fear and danger from basic truth-telling by employees, managers and executives.

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