Dale Carnegie® Training and MSW published a clever infographic about employee engagement based on a study from ARS Research. Their infographic identifies four key emotions that drive engagement in the workplace: enthusiasm, empowered, inspired and confident. According to the study, the presence of at least three positive emotions can indicate an engaged employee.
As a leader, how do you go about generating these emotions within your employees?
While you never have direct control over the thoughts, moods and emotions of your employees, as a leader you can create a workplace that fosters positive emotions within your team, which can in turn help to generate long-term engagement. Let’s take a look at each emotion noted by Dale Carnegie to see what steps you as a leader can take to get your team feeling good about where they work.
How do you get employees excited to do their work, and excited to contribute to the organization as a whole? Part of enthusiasm comes directly from the simple enjoyment of one’s job, but it’s also much more than that — it’s feeling good knowing that your work contributes to a shared vision and culture, and feeling excited about what comes next when the current project is completed. As a leader, you can create a shared vision with clear goals for your employees, then offer diverse rewards and opportunities for recognition so they feel truly good about the work they do — and excited for whatever’s next.
Creating a shared vision not only contributes to feeling enthused at work, it also helps people feel empowered. With the knowledge that their work directly contributes to a common goal of the broader team or company, there’s a sense of shared responsibility for the overall success of that team, and there’s a lot of empowerment that can come from that notion. And if you offer opportunities for employees to take on their own parts of projects and run with their piece of the puzzle, they’ll feel even more empowered from being given your trust that they can get the job done right.
Inspiration often comes from leadership, as well as other colleagues on your team. As a leader, set a good example for your team by generating new ideas, inviting others to not be afraid to think outside the box, and encouraging collaboration. You’ll show employees that your organization fosters creative problem solving and innovative thinking. Get the ball rolling and open up dialogues on how to work better, smarter or more inventively, and invite everyone in the organization to join the conversation.
Confidence at work doesn’t just come from being good at what you do; it comes from knowing you can improve at what you do, even become an expert — and in time, develop your skills and passions to grow into something more than what you currently do. Much of this can be fostered from leadership and HR initiatives. If your company provides ample opportunities for additional training and on-the-job learning, employees can work on their weaknesses to become stronger, more well-rounded employees. They can also take on new challenges in areas that they want to grow into, and if you allow for opportunities like mentorship, formal job trainings or participation in workshops, you give your employees a chance to really become rock stars for both today and tomorrow.