April 1, 2016
Brent Ayles
Brent Ayles

What could be more important than engaging employees?

Make time for results


Whether you are B2B or B2C, we are all expected to deliver faster experiences at the highest level. How does a business owner do it? Industry leaders suggest hiring five GREAT people, paying them like eight, and getting the productivity of 10.

We see government, sporting teams and Fortune 500 companies constantly strategizing and trading players, with hopes to achieve a higher level of play. Leaders of our generation tell us: seldom are the ones that get you there, the ones that keep you there. As a business evolves, comes closer to its vision and adapts to changing times, the rules of the game often change. Rather than attempting to find new employees, perhaps your current people just need to be engaged.

Over the past 20 years we have heard buzzwords that entice the imagination: team work, leadership, mentoring, strategic, good to great, measurable and emotional intelligence.
Today the term we all must embrace is employee engagement.

Engagement changes the way a business measures success. To use a sports analogy, there is a clear scoreboard that tells a few key numbers: goals, penalties and time. The largest cost for most companies is our personnel, so we must measure and report what matters and control it. Reward specific behaviours to get more of what you want. Recognize the employees that perform and that not every player is equal. Some are designated hitters while others lead in scoring goals; all are important positions.

The key to winning is engaging your team. Show them clear rules. Show them how to win as a team. Reward, celebrate and engage your team into their strengths. When employees are engaged, scoreboard results will improve.

If you would like a good exercise that builds teamwork and engages employees, try identifying the strengths of each individual on your team. Divide your team in groups of five to seven, and ask each group to list the strengths and weaknesses of each member. The exercise makes employees vulnerable, just as it recognizes them for their strengths. Learn to engage your employees as a team, in order to help them WIN as a team.

As leaders of organizations, we get caught up every day in managing email, attending meetings, and a lot of non-essential tasks. Our teams need leaders that care and will coach players one-on-one. Sit down across a table and personally coach employees with material that is relevant to growth in their position and in life. It shows that you care for them, value them, and it builds their self worth.

Taking time to invest in your employees is the best way to engage them with your organization. This means to captivate, attract, and involve them.

Keep score! Be the coach!  

Brent Ayles operates Ayles Natural Landscaping in Riverview, N.B.