The Zen of Leadership – 5 Tips to Cultivate a More Engaged Workforce


One of the biggest reasons people succeed in business is their ability to lead a team or a company to new heights of achievement. As a small business owner or a manager, you’re tasked with finding ways to make your staff happier and more productive.

Fortunately, there are many practical and tactical steps you can learn from business books and seminars on how to inspire, motivate, and engage people to perform well at work.  And here are few ideas to start to cultivate a more engaged workforce.


#1 Provide a Supportive Environment

While employees appreciate good décor, comfortable furnishings, and well-maintained office equipment, every workplace benefits from a well-stocked break room. Think of yourself as a good general who makes sure troops are well-nourished before embarking on a campaign.

As a leader, make sure your employees have the sustenance they need for a productive day. It’s a goal you’ll achieve by providing them with a delightful break room.

Employees often go to the break room before the start of their shift for a cup of coffee or a snack. They also frequent the break room during their morning and afternoon breaks. Consequently, a good break room should be supplied with office water dispensers, coffee brewers and supplies, a variety of popular beverages, and a few snack vending machines.


#2 Organize Productive Meetings

Question every meeting you schedule. Remember, you’re pulling your employees away from their desks and disrupting their workflow every time you have a meeting.

Sometimes an issue can be resolved quickly by talking to someone face-to-face, calling, or texting. If you do have to have a meeting, make sure only the essential people are invited. Guard your employees time as carefully as you guard your own.

When scheduling a meeting, don’t focus on 30 or 60-minute meetings, the default meeting time dictated by a calendar app. Instead, only hold meetings for as long as necessary. You never know, sometimes you might be able to resolve everything in ten minutes.

When the meeting starts, take control of it. It’s only too easy for distracting conversations to drag out meetings. During the meeting, outline the objectives to be covered and take notes to stay on topic and move sequentially from one idea to the next.

Following these simple guidelines will prevent a meeting from becoming a waste of time.


#3 Automate Tedious Tasks

Often software can do a task faster and more efficiently than your best employees. What a person takes an hour to do can often be done with automation in about 15 minutes or less.

Today, there are all sorts of apps for everything that needs to get done in an office. Do a Google search to see if there’s an app for some of the tasks you need to get done.

First, make an inventory of tasks your employees do on a regular basis, then identify the most tedious ones and make it your mission to relieve them of boring, time-consuming work. Not only will you free up your employees to do something more interesting with their time at work, but you’ll also get everything in the office done faster.


#4 Encourage Learning from Feedback

As a leader, you may find it difficult to admit when you’re wrong. But, surprisingly, showing vulnerability can become your greatest strength.

While it isn’t necessary to preface everything, you say or do with a self-deprecating comment, you should be the first to admit when you’re wrong about something. This approach will encourage everyone to be open to learning from their own mistakes.

Here’s the thing: you don’t always have to be right to stay in control. It takes courage to admit when you’ve made a mistake. When you’re honest and transparent about your own shortcomings, you’re fostering an environment where people learn from mistakes rather than hide behind excuses.

Since we learn from something from our errors and nothing by defending our pride, by practicing humility as a leader you’re encouraging a growth mindset rather than fostering a culture where a fixed mindset is viewed as necessary for survival.


#5 Reinforce High Performance

People don’t just work for me. They also strive for recognition. When you fail to recognize when an employee who has gone out of their way to do something well, the employee will feel discouraged.

If you want employees to perform well on the job, you need to reinforce their positive behavior. Recognition can be as simple as a smile or a few words. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it, as this will come across as insincere.


In Conclusion…

Leadership in any organization, large or small, is a skill that you acquire over time; and one of the fastest ways to demonstrate your ability to lead now is to set up the right working environment and initiate highly productive business processes.

What are you doing to cultivate and engage the workforce in your business?

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