In the old-school “time management” models, it was all about efficiency, about doing as much as possible in the time allotted.
The problem was, it didn’t work. Just as sure as one thing was crossed off the list, two more tasks took its place. It created a “more-more-more, faster-faster-faster” mentality that now has people working seven days a week, day and night.
Sure, they may be getting a lot done, but at what cost?
I can tell you, the cost is high. They are paying for this “efficiency” in loss of true effectiveness and results, life balance, health, and relationships. The effect on companies is not the higher productivity and profit one would expect, but a high burnout and disengagement rate.
This week, I am privileged to be conducting a leadership retreat.
Our goals are related to planning, goal setting, and problem-solving. But first and foremost, there is a need for re-energizing the leadership team.
Like you and your team, this team is giving it all they have to outpace the competition and create profit. The work never stops. But the fact is, the leaders need to stop – just for a short time – to recalibrate. Without this time for re-energizing and recalibration, a team can lose its effectiveness.
How can you re-energize and recalibrate your team?
In their book The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz make the case for the fact that “performance, health, and happiness are grounded in the skillful management of energy.”
Success is no longer based on a futile attempt at managing time, but a more effective approach of managing energy.
There is a compound effect that occurs when you have a block of time matched with high energy. The results are measurably significant. Studies have also shown that working longer does not necessarily create massively greater results. In fact, the law of diminishing returns kicks in at some point, creating lower productivity. And yet we as employers demand more and more of a smaller workforce…and more and more of ourselves and our leadership teams as well.
How can you as the leader of a company create a high-energy team that gets results without burnout?
Why should you even care about energizing your employees? Here are a few critical reasons.
- To rebuild employee trust. All the downsizing, lay-offs, rightsizing, and re-engineering in recent years has created environments where employees have lost trust.
- Employees today must be more self-motivated and self-directed.
- As our work environments have become more high-tech, the need for leaders to be more high-touch has developed.
- Work environments today must be supportive and foster the desired behaviors and outcomes.
- All employees want to feel valued and appreciated for their knowledge, skills, and work.
- Leaders have limited time with their employees, so it must be positive and meaningful.
How do you truly energize your employees? Here are four ways.
What and how you communicate with your employees is just as important as what you pay and give them.
Well-informed employees are good and productive employees, simply because they feel involved. The positive effects of communicating vital company information to employees are huge. Employees who are “in the loop” are energized and feel like a vital part of the organization.
Involving your employees in decisions that affect them will result in overall better decisions.
The collection of employee suggestions is one of the best ways to involve employees and to energize them in the process. Their suggestions can not only help the company but also themselves, by improving working conditions and giving them a measure of control over their jobs. If a company carefully reviews employee suggestions and quickly implements the ones with merit, management is sending a message to employees that they are valued. In contrast, an unattended suggestion box sends a clear message to employees that they are not being heard – and this will de-energize your team.
Training employees is essential for their long-term relationship with your company.
The best companies recognize that teaching employees pays long-term dividends. When employees are given opportunities to learn and better themselves, it can electrify an otherwise stagnant workforce. Just the ability to break out of their day-to-day routines can be very energizing in itself.
Creating new and interesting challenges can keep employees out of a rut.
These new challenges can reenergize them and restore enthusiasm. If you want your employees to feel excited about coming to work, you have to create interesting new challenges. And by the same token, be sure to recognize their efforts in meeting these challenges. Take time to celebrate the wins with your team before diving into the next challenges. This creates a cycle of renewable energy.
From Millennials to Baby Boomers, people today are looking for much more than a paycheck when they go to work. They are looking for purpose and fulfillment. Many employers still don’t get this, and it shows in their production and turnover numbers.
My suggestion is to give your employees a chance to make an impact, not just a job. Energize your team, and the results will come as a welcome side-effect.
For more ideas on how to energize your employees, get the Emotional Intelligence Matrix.
Dave Ferguson is “The Leaders’ Coach”, an internationally recognized executive leadership coach, speaker, facilitator, and author. Are you interested in talking to Dave about coaching or having Dave speak to inspire and motivate your team? “ASK COACH DAVE” at 704-907-0171 or at Dave@AskCoachDave.com.