Tag "Team Management"

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How to Get 5 Times the Employee Engagement You Have Now

Digital transformation leaders are called to lead the process of digital transformation in their organizations, leading those organizations into the digital age as they transform both their business, and the people in their organizations.

Every organization already experienced a tremendous level of change during the last 10-15 years. Implementing change in organizations around the world has brought many organization with an employee engagement level this year 2016 down equal to 32% in the United States of America and 13% worldwide, according to research by Gallup.

Though many solutions have been made available on the market to counter these negative trends, the reality is that most organizations are experiencing some level of employee disengagement. The main reason is that several generations were educated for the industrial era, with expectations different than the actual situation in the digital era. As a result, in the market place, you will find individuals experiencing one or more of the following:

  • Individuals who are not in alignment with who they are and what they want to do and are feeling lost.
  • Individuals whose expectations of life is different from their actual lives.
  • Those who have much potential but are held back by their fear and mind programming.
  • Those who know of their purpose and are searching for ways to get involved in their own mission and make a difference.
  • Those who are holding fearfully to what they have and perceived as security in a time when everything is changing.

Outside of the organizations, you’ll find investors and other stakeholders counting on you to bring the best return on their investment in your organization in a transitional and questionable global economy.

What about customers? They have expectations from you as well, especially the faithful ones and for your organization’s or business’ continuous success you’d better not deceive them

For each individual, regardless of their position, what they don’t like is uncertainty. As a Digital Transformation Leader, you are seen as the change leader and whomever says change, also says uncertainty.  So there is just one thing that they expect from you to start with: Trust!

Can they trust you to bring them to something that could improve their lives? Can you make their organization more successful with your changes?  Can they trust you so that they don’t lose what they have; be it their comfort or position? Seriously, can they trust you with their future, and their family’s future, at all? This is why it’s important to develop your leadership skills and emotional intelligence continuously.

  1. Invest in preparing the individuals in your organization for the emotional disruption that they will face during their transformation.
  2. Create hunger for the transformation in your organization.
  3. Create an attractive and transformative vision for your organization or your team.
  4. Develop more missionaries than employees in your organization.
  5. Digitally enable your organization.
  6. Join our Digital Transformation Leaders community and enjoy much guidance as you lead your organization to transform.

When Change Divides Previously Harmonious Teams

Change brings chaos at first and sometimes causes division in previously harmonious teams. In fact it happens at all level of an organization. When that happens at the top level of management, the situation is more challenging.

The situation requires for a strong leader to stop in and realign the team. However, you are dealing with people, and the results may vary. They may get along or they may not, depending of team member’s personal objectives and whether they are aligned with the changes.

Two things are important to reinforce at this point.

1. The change goal or mission

It is important to reinforce the goals and bind people with a common goal, a common mission.

2. Trust

Developing trust is a must to positive collaboration.

If the team leader experiences difficulty developing trust in the team by himself/herself, an external consultant or group leadership activity can help best.

Group coaching and team building are great alternatives.

In some instances, if one (or more) person has too big of an ego to the point of causing more challenges than bringing in solutions, sometimes a team reorganization may be the only choice left after having tried the above.

The team leader must accept at a certain point to part ways with a team member who is working against the project goals, else the project goals may be compromised.

When Ego Dominates The Need For Solutions

Change is a challenging experience for most participants and even more for the leader. This is a true story of mine.

Once, I was to help an organization with a challenging innovation project that was delayed for 2 years. The project fell apart during the integration phase. It was difficult to trace the root cause of the main system failure because the team who developed that system had left the company and there was little documentation written for the system.

Still, after about 3 months of solution assessment, data gathering and system monitoring with a collaborative team, we finally identified the broken link. I elaborated the strategy to fix it and presented it to John, the project portfolio manager before I would present it to the project steering committee.

I presented the solution to John with great energy and dedication. He was very focused and listened to me with few interruptions. Afterward, we scheduled a meeting for 1 week later to present the new approach to the steering committee.

Two days later, John informed me that the steering meeting was postponed. Then, a week later, by the coffee machine, another executive tells me, “Too bad you could not make it to yesterday’s meeting. John explained that the team was on a good path but unfortunately it was overrated.”

Before I could discuss the situation with John, I was receiving some last minute requests for menial tasks, followed by many reminders. Next, my working hours were closely monitored and commented on. There was never a good time to present the solution to the steering committee for the priority had changed. But why? No reason was found.

The following week, I was called in for a meeting with John.

“Well Nadia, I know that you are good with providing solutions, but things have changed here, and in this organization, though things are not so well, we do certain things different than your way. Therefore, I must inform you that I have to end your contract.”

What happened, really? The failure came from a development phase that John was leading 2 years ago before I arrived on the project. He was so afraid that the other executives would blame him that he chose to hide the findings as well as the solution.

His decision to conceal the facts has cost the company several hundred thousand euros more than the millions that were engaged and at risk.

John’s ego was bigger than his need for a solution that would have moved the project forward.

As Diana Black says: “Big egos are just big shields to lots of empty space.”

When a consultant is hired, it is to deliver solutions. I did a great job and my greatest satisfaction would have been to see that the solutions I delivered made a difference for my client.

Was it the company culture, a blaming prone environment that made John conceal the solution? Or was it because of John’s insecurity and the size of his ego?

It appeared to be both to me. Therefore it is important to develop transformational leadership and emotional intelligence across the organization so that people accept that errors can be made at any time and that identifying them should not make them feel threatened.

A leader’s greatest satisfaction should be in what he/she leads other to achieve and not of his/her own ego. In fact, great leaders manage their ego to a point that whenever they are entering a room or a building to serve, they leave their ego at the door.

Leaders, can you do that? If not, it can be learned, fortunately.