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The Untapped Secret for Inspiring Employee Engagement

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The Monmouth study offers significant and actionable insights for all leaders that should shape the way you approach your team to inspire innovation and drive results. Here are 5 ways to encourage more reflection on your team and better connect employee passions with roles:

  1. Build reflection into weekly or monthly staff meetings. Start by asking your team to reflect on the time period since the last meeting. What did they learn about the business, themselves, your customers or their roles that has provided them with a new insight or idea? Make your meetings more than a data dump exercise or fire drill to address the latest business crisis.
  2. Devote time each year to staff retreats, where the focus is on self and team development. While it’s tempting to limit the time spent on formal training or in-classroom work sessions in favor of team social events, insist that whatever training you implement includes sufficient reflection processes and time so your team actually benefits from the investment you’re making in the retreat. Look for programs that include post-retreat follow-up sessions to reinforce the learning and support employee development.
  3. As a leader, take time to reflect on the week ahead and share your insights with your team. This could be as simple as a Monday email to the team outlining the focus areas most critical to moving the business forward in the week ahead and how they can contribute. Include a personal insight that you developed during the previous week and how you plan to apply that insight going forward. If your team observes you modeling reflection, they’re much more likely to embrace the practice.
  4. Look for learning opportunities everywhere and share them with employees based on their interests and passions. If a special project arises that would be perfect for that person in your marketing group with a Builder/Conceiver passion, be willing to reshuffle work assignments to aid talent development.
  5. Although it may seem to be counter intuitive, get comfortable with pausing. In a fast paced market your natural tendency will be to rush to get results or solve problems. Yet, a lack of reflection may have you solving the wrong problem, really well. Instead, consider establishing a practice on your team of answering two important questions before making a major decision: What question haven’t we asked that we should? What insights are we missing?

As a leader, your success is rooted not just in the ability to look forward, but also the capacity to reflect on what has transpired in the past. Leaving room for reflection in your day is essential if you expect to make the best decisions possible and build a team that can do the same.

This article by Alaina Love first appeared in SmartBrief on Leadership, February 2017.

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