Leaders, Motivation, and Employee Engagement: Evaluate Yourself

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Motivation and employee engagement are one of the most discussed subjects in management and leadership these days. Various surveys are available that tell us a large portion of the workforce is not engaged and there seems to be no end to suggestions for how to motivate people.

Having studied this for many years, I’ve come to the conclusion that motivation and engagement are inextricably linked and there are two facts that leaders in general often don’t quite grasp.

1. Leaders can’t motivate anyone. They can temporarily change behavior, but they can’t motivate because that is internal to each person. What leaders can and should do is create a motivational climate where people can achieve their own motivation.

2. Very often, the reason people aren’t engaged is simply that leadership hasn’t asked them to be engaged. When leaders don’t help their people understand why the organization is important and why the workers are important, what do they expect?

Here’s a short self-assessment to get you started thinking about how you can create a motivational climate that will improve your organization’s employee engagement. Answer each of these questions based on your own beliefs and experiences using the scale below. For instance, for question number 1, if you always strive to understand other’s needs, give yourself a 4. If you never strive to understand other’s needs, give yourself a 1. If you are somewhere in between, give yourself a 2 or 3. There are no right or wrong answers.

4 – Always     3 – Frequently     2 – Seldom     1. Never

___ 1. I strive to understand other’s needs.

___ 2. I try to make everyone feel like a valuable part of the team.

___ 3. I pay attention to things that seem to cause dissatisfaction.

___ 4. I actively seek feedback from everyone in the office.

___ 5. The people in my office feel challenged.

___ 6. I seek out new ideas from my people.

___ 7. My people have a safe place to work.

___ 8. I actively solicit input from my team before making changes.

___ 9. I use rewards as recognition for the work performed, not as a motivator.

___ 10. I know what motivates the people on my team.

___ Total Score

If you scored between 35 and 40, you probably have the type of organization where everyone wants to work. Your organization probably has very low turnover and high productivity.

If you scored between 25 and 35, you probably have a fairly engaged workforce, but they probably aren’t as engaged as you think they are and there’s room for improvement. Take some time to look around and talk to people.

If you scored less than 25 you are probably experiencing high turnover and low productivity. What’s that costing?

Please leave a comment about one of the questions on this assessment.

 

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