3 Paths to Influencing Employee Engagement
Employee Engagement ~ Herd Mentality ~ Authentic Confidence
On Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, a group of 75 leaders, community members and guests from the Fond du Lac area gathered for the 18th Annual Wellness Conference hosted by Fond du Lac Area Businesses on Health – otherwise known as FABOH.
Executive Director, Jeff Butz, introduced the group and set the stage for the morning. He said,
“There’s value in learning from each other.”
This event offered FABOH members and non-members the opportunity to network, grow in their professional and leadership development, and support and increase employee engagement in their own organizations.
The morning’s conference featured three impactful individuals & presentations:
Employee Engagement: From Buzzword to Strategy
Christa Williams, Executive Director of Sophia Transformative Leadership Partners.
Buzzwords are a shortcut to what’s really going on, but do we take the time to explain what they mean?
Under all the buzzwords that we use in our everyday language is the desire for people to be engaged with and in our organizations.
Engagement 101: Being engaged means talking to people! What does that look like?:
- Consistent check-ins
- Open conversations
- Active listening
- Paying attention to details
- Honest feedback
Step 1: Define
It’s time we talk about Employee (the Human) not as a thing or asset that can be tossed aside after its purpose is fulfilled, but actually as a person. We need to care about our employees!
“Employee engagement is the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace.”
Step 2: Why
To create positive outcomes in your organization, you need to start with WHY. Employees are searching for meaning in their work, so as a leader, you can help them by doing the following:
- Ask questions (i.e. What do you need from me? How can I support you in this?)
- Be self-aware.
- Have empathy for others.
- Support engaged people with their strengths not their weaknesses.
Step 3: Plan
For a plan to succeed, you Need Action. As Dave Skogen, CEO of Festival Foods said,
“Intentions minus actions equal squat.”
Find a Path. It might mean getting out of your comfort zone, confronting conflict or taking a brand new path but you must take the path nonetheless.
Having a plan that is clearly documented, communicated & maintained – Keeps everyone committed to engagement.
As she wrapped up her presentation, Christa said,
“You have the ability to influence engagement with the people around you.”
Engagement through Herd Mentality
Ted Neitzke, Executive Director of CESA 6.
What can I do differently to help engagement?
Ted has found it useful to create a metaphor that everyone rallies around. At CESA 6, their metaphor =
“Go into your storm”
Ted explained it like this…the American buffalo is a smart animal. When it sees a storm coming in the distance, its first instinct is to go straight into it. Why? Because its the quickest way to get out of it!
On the other side, cows do the exact opposite. When they see a storm coming, they walk away from it and get stuck or lost, or in the worst-case scenario, they don’t come out alive.
This metaphor for the workplace encourages employees to be like the buffalo and “go into your storm!”
If you do the following…
- Define expected behaviors at the front.
- Ask the question – “What do you need from me?”
- Change your own behavior first.
- Talk, act, and encourage engagement.
Then engaged workplaces…
- Are predictable
- Have processes in place for engagement
- Onboard new employees to culture
- Expect engagement
By taking the time to talk with employees and build processes that WORK, engaged & productive workplaces can be a reality. Some of the traits of an engaged workplace include:
- Keep going through struggles
- Don’t give up on others
- Ask the questions: What went well? What could we change?
Ted finished with this thought:
“If we want ‘change’ to be successful and a habit, we need to challenge ourselves to change the environment.”
Leading with Authentic Confidence
Mark Duerwaechter, Authentic Confidence Coach of RISE Leadership.
Now what? How do we help improve engagement, mental health and wellness?
- Self – What would your life look like if you leverage your great traits and resolve your growth traits?
- Team – What would your colleague’s life look like if you leverage your great traits and resolve your growth traits?
- Organization – How do Q1 and Q2 impact your culture/climate?
The purpose of asking these questions is to grow self -> grow team -> grow organization.
The Authentic Confidence Model:
Take pride in your work and have humility in your relationships.
- Authentic Confidence: High Pride in Work and High Humility – Peace
- Over Confidence: High Pride in Work and Low Humility – Pain
- Under Confidence: Low Pride in Work and High Humility – Pain
#1 confidence killer is your own mindset or inner critic.
The goal is to spend less time listening to our inner critic and instead grow in confidence!
Mark concluded: Our life stories may SHAPE us and sometimes we feel over or under confident, but by understanding our confidence profiles, our stories can DEFINE us.
To learn more about the Authentic Confidence Profiles and take the personal assessment, visit www.benfauske.com.
New in 2023, FABOH is providing leadership training programs to support employee engagement. These events are educational opportunities for members (and non-members) to grow in their leadership. If you were unable to attend the conference, you can still hear these two speakers in the future!
- Servant Leadership – Christa Williams, May 2023
- Authentic Confidence – Mark Duerwaechter, November 2023
Or, for another opportunity to hear Ted Neitzke, join him and Amatoga Jeremie for the Employee Engagement & Retention conference on February 1, 2023. RSVP by January 27th online here!
What have you learned from this blog? Anything you’d add to our lists, contact us and let us know!