5 ways to drive results without compromising on employee engagement
For many there are two ends of the spectrum – on one side is driving efforts to increase productivity at all costs and on the other is taking steps to increase employee engagement. To maintain a fine balance between the two i.e. drive efforts as well as increase employee engagement, requires a special skill. Very few managers/leaders have managed to do that so far. A Harvard business review survey shows that 78% of leaders were rated higher on their ability to drive for results instead of being on the inspirational scale. The pressure to get relevant results is real.
How do you drive results at work?
Great leaders are effective at driving for results by staying focused on what is most important for achieving the strategic goals of the organization. They are able to develop a balanced approach around those tactics, with strict time frames for professional and personal lives, that contribute to the overall strategic direction. They understand that while increasing employee engagement is important to increasing productivity, at times employees also need to have the drive for results. The same Harvard Business Review study mentioned above also noted that only 13% leaders score high on technical and interpersonal skills, together.
How can I get results from others?
Here are 5 ways for leaders to nurture their ability to drive for results, as well as increase employee engagement, accountable nature and strategy competency at the same time:
Help everyone understand the company vision:
Vision is defined by the upper echelons of an organisation. Being closely involved in the process, they have clarity on the goals and how they want to drive for results, what strategies should they adopt to make sure that this vision is achieved. But as we go down the organisational hierarchy, less and less individuals are aware of what their company is trying to achieve. They usually perform their tasks without support, or an understanding of what is the end purpose of all these efforts. This is known to inhibit them from developing an affinity with the company and are often unsatisfied, leading to lower engagement levels.
Good leaders drive for results by shouldering the responsibility and helping individual contributors gain clarity. They hold themselves accountable. They make efforts to communicate and ensure everyone understands what strategies are being adopted, what will be their implication, what steps or stretch goals should be taken and ultimately how everything ties together. When team members are inspired by a structured path and equipped with proper tools and knowledge to walk with, they can be highly motivated to give their best even in their personal lives.
Motivate them to get better:
Autocratic leadership can only drive or push their team members to increase their productivity. This is counter-productive in the long run. Working incessantly may yield short term benefits but will eventually break team members and decrease their performance levels. Inevitably such results driven leaders do not hesitate to fire team members performing at lower than expected levels.
Instead of pushing team members to work harder, great leaders are focused on providing support. Their inspiration and motivation are like catalysts that help project teams unleash their hidden potential and redouble their efforts. Their ability to deliver on their tasks rises manifold, even on the leadership development front – where they need to also create a positive work environment that encourages employees to be passionate and enthusiastic about coming to work and giving their best every single time.
Aim for the stars, reach the moon:
Most employees get complacent over time. They are used to performing the same tasks repeatedly to deliver the same output. They are not challenged to move beyond their comfort zone.
In such cases, leaders need to utilize the concept of stretch goals to get the most out of their subordinates. Basically they make sure that key targets are difficult to achieve yet not impossible. Although according to the concept they need to be lenient when it comes to measuring their team members’ performance. The expected achievement rate is usually between 60% to 70% of these ambitious targets. Team members need to get out of their comfort zone and take those extra efforts to make sure their achievements fall between this bracket.
How can employees achieve high performance in the workplace?
Team members who have been working in the organisation for long, usually perform the same set of activities with the same set of skills. With the rapid advancement of technology, these key skills can become obsolete and thus need to be regularly updated.
Leaders who drive for results understand that spending time and money on developing individuals is more beneficial in the long run. Instead of hiring newer individuals who are equipped with modern skills, it is better to develop existing team members as it is less cumbersome as well as more practical. Their result driven nature helps to formulate and execute plans that succeed in developing team members individually. It leads to ultimately improving their performance and subsequently organisational productivity.
How do you motivate a high performing employee?
Listening to high performance employees is one common trait of all results driven leaders. They value listening and are open to receiving feedback from everyone within and outside the organisation. It helps them gain insights into many situations from a different perspective. If there are any aspects that are being overlooked and causing problems, they need to be addressed at the earliest. They regularly seek feedback from everyone they are closely involved with. Even employees find it easy to approach these individuals and confide their problems that would usually have remained unsaid. Leaders who drive for results are open to feedback, are highly respected, and thus command higher loyalty.
All of these together help great leaders ensure that employees are highly engaged in their work and are also self-driven to achieve higher performance levels.