6 ways to get the whole team pulling in the same direction
It's universally known that a company is going to be more effective and proficient if it's employees are on board and 'pulling in the same direction'.
But for many companies that is also easier said than done.
In organisations where there is a lack of effective leadership, there is often a concurrent lack of employee engagement....excuses why things aren't getting done properly often centre around a lack of time. Time is NEVER the original problem, as summarised here:
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”
― Zig Ziglar
And when it's perfectly easy to see other organisations and departments being more effective, doing pretty much the same thing, it's hard to argue with this point.
It could therefore be argued that effective leadership and engaged employees are 'hand in glove', as one naturally follows the other.
As competition and communication continues to increase across both manufacturing and service sectors, lean transformation is the mindset that many proactive organisations are/have adopted, in order to maintain their crucial competitive advantage....but there's a problem.
No changes will be successfully implemented in the long term, unless the team(s) is on board and pulling in the same direction.
First and foremost, teams/employees need to be engaged before they can be developed in a sustained way.
Below are 6 excellent, proven behavioural/leadership techniques prevalent within successful leaders, each of which develop excellent employee engagement levels:
Remove the tension: employees will not 'be themselves' and behave authentically nor logically be engaged, within an environment that has limitations and constraints. For example, an environment whereby an employee coming up with and wishing to discuss a new idea, only to be told to 'get on with their work' is going to disengage that person very quickly.
Identify positive capabilities: everybody is different and most of us have skills that others don't. An employee who's skills have not only be identified but acknowledge is much more like to feel engaged with their leader.
Empower to discover potential: this is often the largest area of failure for leadership....trust. If an employee has been identified as having relevant skills, they need to be trusted to demonstrate and develop them and even make mistakes whilst doing it. By empowering, rather than micro-managing, self belief and confidence blooms, together with engagement in the direction the leadership are pointing in.
Put them in a position of influence: employees feel most engaged when they have a sense of responsibility towards their leadership. As such, being in and succeeding in a position of responsibility with develop strong employee engagement and trust. Naturally, this approach would also need to come with clear leadership support if/when help is required.
Share success: this is one of the easiest and most forgotten on the list. If an organisation is looking for improvements and to do that acknowledges it needs everybody onside and pulling in the same direction - it is compelled to share the successes when they come about. In this case sharing also means devolving the main credit of achieving the success to the team themselves. A selfless but crucial role of every strong leader.
Be consistent: the most successful leaders and the ones that can successfully deliver sustainable, transformation improvements in to their organisations are also the ones who's team(s) are 100% clear as to the direction, requirements, expectations and behaviours that the leader wants from them. This well communicated focus, again helps build trust, in that if the employee then keeps their side of the bargain and delivers their responsibilities, they are already fully aware that they will receive positive empathy and recognition for doing so.
At Value Stream Experts we are often asked what is our USP, what makes us different. And the answer lies firmly in this area discussed above.
Unlike many other third-party lean management companies, we don't see our role as being to go into the client, identify the issues, communicate them, mentor the staff and leave.
More often than not, the issues of employee engagement noted above are rife, which is often the cause factors for the inefficiencies and waste in the first place. So simply delivering 'what to do' about them would fall (and often does in poorly executed lean management) on deaf ears.
Concurrently, at VSE we will also identify, recommend and support the role out of a proven employee engagement plan with the help of the organisational leadership, which means concurrent with the new Lean culture being implemented, the employees (who will be the people to sustain and improve it), are focussed on heavily to engage positively with the direction of the organisation.
That is our success. Let us deliver yours.
Our experience will get you there.
Call us today on 0207 412 8995 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org your questions about Lean and how it can help transform YOUR business.