Driving Employee Engagement Step Two – Be Human

Today I’m sharing a deeper look at Step Two of the employee engagement process as described in 4 things you’re missing to drive employee engagement.

Step Two: Be Human!

Being human seems simple enough, it really means just be yourself. So why is that so hard to do? Well, when you put it inside the work world, it actually becomes pretty tough to do. Between worrying if what you say is appropriate, to thinking that the other person doesn’t care what you have to say, it’s easy to get lost in translation. Frankly, sometimes you just don’t care about the situation and truly being yourself can be very challenging. When you add it all up, you risk not coming across as natural and genuine. You quickly become forced and superficial, leading to your employees sensing you don’t care, leading to the bigger issue of employee engagement.
So how do you change so you come across like a person and not a Boss? Here are 2 simple things you can do right now.

It’s as easy as Taking a Breath.

We have all been in situations where we had a bad morning at home after waking up late and rushing to get to work on time. When you finally arrive, you’re “short” with the first people you see, until you’re able to sit down and catch our breath. The problem in this scenario is that you just affected 5 maybe 10 people that you passed or interacted with on the way to your office. Those employees now feel undervalued. Remember just seeing you smile at them has an immediate impact (Refer to Step 1). Arriving in a “huff” can imply to your team that they are not important to you; Remember that perception is reality! Regardless of your bad morning, they don’t deserve to feel inadequate.
So TAKE A BREATH. In the car simply take a moment, gather your thoughts, take a deep breath that you made it to work, and be in the present moment. Then walk into work, smile and say hello to all those who you encounter so that you don’t miss important moments to be human with each of them.

Be yourself.

It’s perfectly ok when casually talking to your employees, asking them how their day is going to admit you’re human! If they ask about your day, tell them it started rough, “Well its been a bad morning, that alarm clock just came too early…”. In this exact moment you have created a moment that your employee can relate too! We have all had rough mornings, but making a connection between you and your employees makes you human in their eyes! What is so great about being yourself and not afraid to show a little vulnerability, is that they are people too and are forgiving. So while you made the connection with the person you are talking too, not only will they be understanding if you should have a frantic moment, but they will also feel they have something in common with you. That makes a lasting impression.
Employee engagement doesn’t have to be hard. It’s can be as simple as smiling and saying hello, or showing your human side. These quick adjustments you make will have a lasting impression on your team. Next week, I will dive into Step 3, the scary world of Feedback and how it only works if it is given and received.

By Victoria Pasquale, MBA
Connect with me on LinkedIn at Victoria Pasquale, MBA

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