Last week, I had the pleasure and privilege of traveling to Bentonville Arkansas to deliver a keynote speech, 5 Leadership Lessons to Engagement © , to Wal-Mart’s home office. Part of what made it such an extraordinary visit was that I got to visit the Wal-Mart museum and view some history points including the founder of Wal-Mart, Sam Walton’s office which looked exactly like it did before he passed away. There front and center was also his beat up Ford pickup truck which he drove around everywhere with his hunting dogs.
The real highlight was meeting the people of Wal-Mart who are passionate and dedicated to creating a more engaged employee culture. An engaged culture is defined as people who are passionate about their work, feel involved in the big picture and know that what they do really does contribute value to a growing organization.
What is it that makes this type of engagement possible?
Engagement in the workplace starts the moment you choose to become fully engaged yourself. An engaged attitude partnered with the right actions is what contributes to a more engaged culture.
You can’t wait for others to get engaged first, you have to take that step first. And in doing so, there will be some resistance. Negative people who don’t really think of themselves as negative will dismiss your efforts as a possible gimmick to get more production. The key is that you have to be consistent with your engagement efforts. It is important to remember that employee engagement first starts with your attitude. People will mirror your attitude into their work plan. If your attitude is not engaged, don’t expect others to be engaged.
It is important to develop some attitude awareness. Assess your attitude and determine if it is working for you or against you. What can you do to enrich your attitude with a little more engagement? Maybe it is allowing yourself to be a little more personable and willing to connect with others on a personal level. Get to know your coworkers by asking them what their goals are and what is important to them as well as what they have going on in their life. By doing so, it lets them know you authentically care.
The next step is be aware of how you respond to adversity. If people observe you losing your cool in at the site of challenges, then expect them to mirror your example. Do a mental inventory of times you could have done better handling adversity and learn from it for future challenges.
Another step you can take is by choosing to be more optimistic. People who are optimistic carry with them a positive energy that infuses others with the same.
Implementing more engagement doesn’t have to be complicated. When it comes to engagement, start small and build on each engaged action you take – they will fit together nicely. Start with your attitude first and continue to learn new ways on how you can help others become more engaged. But, remember, to create engagement it takes leadership to make it a priority. It also requires not just talking about it, but being an example of it. The results will add up to being able to do more with less, leverage your current talent, increase customer loyalty, experience less turnover, improved innovation and employee buy in of companies goals. If that sounds good, then engagement is the key to making that happen.
Sam Glenn is a sought after leadership keynote speaker by companies and organizations that want to re-charge attitude’s for positive action to achieve positive results. Sam Glenn’s Speeches and Motivational Books offer strategies that combat stress and negativity in the workplace and ideas that ramp up teamwork, communication and a positive culture where people can and will thrive. Sam Glenn understands the value of a positive attitude in life and lives his message everyday by example. Sam Glenn is a great kick off speaker or closing to any event.
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