I love Harvard Business Review articles– so many interesting statistics- sometimes I just can’t help my Industrial/Organizational side and I geek out! This article was really on point from that standpoint, and with some practical suggestions for leadership, we couldn’t help but share with our network followers. It’s easy to “get used to” a position, a company, a team- even if it’s the greatest group you’ve ever worked with, you can’t help but get into a routine, and it’s possible to slide unconsciously into a disengaged mindset. The sad part of this is that the longer you’re at a position, the more likely it is for you to become disengaged, so the people with the most direct, specific experience, may be shortchanging their teams of the fantastic productivity they could give! The HBR article goes over the trifecta of performance: Talent (hiring the right people with the right skills), Tenure (keeping those people on your team), and Engagement (activating the amazing potential of your people). When these three worker characteristics are managed properly performance of teams leaps- according to the article- an increase of %18 percent!
So how do we get our talented, tenured people engaged?
Good managers understand their people, and give their teams a chance to shine every day= Let them do what they do best! Keep your long-time employees in the trenches- let them share their knowledge and experience with younger employees. Create work teams that are diverse in work tenure, so your Rookies can learn from your top dogs- this will give the “rooks” a chance to learn from the best, and show your tenured folks that you appreciate and want to emulate their work in your future teams.
Understand your tenured employees- if you’ve watched them over their careers with your company, hopefully you’ll know what they like and dislike, and if you don’t know… NOW is the time find out! Do they want to lead a project, do they want to join a new initiative, do they want to write for an industry publication? Understanding, and supporting their professional development desires is not only a good way to keep them on your team- it’s also a great way to increase their productivity, engagement and loyalty to your company and your team.
Remember, employees join companies, but leave managers- don’t let your lack of understanding be the reason your team is disengaged!