There is a lot of advice available to us on ways to improve employee engagement, but, the truth is, it begins with you. We often overlook that simple reality.
No matter where you are in your career, role, or position, while on the job, you are constantly on display. Your body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and the words you choose matter – and they impact others around you.
To better make the point, the following is an excerpt from the book Business is ART.
An Excerpt from Business is ART, Chapter Five
One day, I came into the office after having a significant disagreement with a family member. I reacted poorly to the emotion of hurt and anger that I was feeling and let the disagreement influence my workplace behavior.
When I got into the office, instead of greeting people in my usual friendly way, I entered the break room with a scowl on my face, not looking at or engaging with anyone. I simply poured a cup of coffee and hurried back to my desk.
Later, one of the most trusted members of my leadership team knocked on my door and suggested that we needed to talk in private.
He closed the door and asked in a very concerned tone, “Are we going to announce layoffs?”
The question stunned me. We were growing. We were profitable. We had a couple of small layoffs early on in our path to $50 million, but that was part of the plan. I didn’t know where the concern was coming from.
“There’s a rumor going around.”
“How did that get started?”
“Some employees were in the break room this morning and said you wouldn’t even look them in the eye, so they started speculating about what was wrong. Then they concluded you couldn’t look them in the eye because you are going to lay some of them off.”
I started the rumor. Not knowingly or intentionally, but because I was not paying attention to my own behavior.
You are constantly on display
Employee engagement begins with you. At work, you are constantly on display.
Before taking on any new initiatives to boost employee engagement, take a good, hard look in the mirror and ask, “How can modifying my own behavior make a change for the better?”