Empower, listen, appreciate, and inspire.
"Inspire, empower, listen & appreciate. Practicing any one of these can improve employee engagement; mastering all four can change the game."
These are the words of LinkedIn's ever-popular CEO, Jeff Weiner, who, in these two sentences, has given some fantastic advice for anyone in a management position. In a recent article, Inc.com provided some practical tips on how people can improve in the aforementioned way to improve employee engagement.
On how to empower, the article says to give employees the flexibility to work remotely and be held accountable based on their contributions, rather than the hours they log. This can also be achieved by given them the freedom and psychological safety required to explore new ideas, to experiment, and to express dissenting opinions
To improve how they listen, leaders should give their utmost attention when in meetings. That means closing the laptop and keeping your phone face down. Also, when listening to people's ideas, you should resist the urge to interrupt or jumping to find a problem within the suggestion. Ideally, one should be very open in such a scenario and not think of the things that people say in terms of think in terms of right and wrong.
To appreciate your team in better ways, give them clear, vocal credit when they achieve a goal or exhibit any kind of behaviour that you would like to see more of. This can be tricky because every person has something different that they bring to the table, but it's up to you, as a leader, to find out what that is and magnify it within that particular person.
Lastly, Inspire others by leading by example. This can mean taking time out to help others with a pressing issue or encouraging creativity by finding new ways of working. That could mean get down in the trenches with them and join in the dirty work, which isn't part of your own responsibility or spending the day working in a different environment outside the office.