Every morning Richard conducted a daily huddle with his executive leadership team. It’s a short daily briefing that brings all the managers together in the company to discuss today’s agenda for their hotels.
The huddle seemed to be a necessary evil of sort. The body language of almost every manager reflected the attitude of, “I must be here because the boss requires us to attend the short meeting.” The managers were not engaged and inspired to be there. Each manager complained about what’s not going right with guest service and the staff in their hotels.
We need leaders that can walk the engagement talk. Often times, so much is missed in every culture because managers take for granted their customers and their employees.
They are result-oriented but miss the “stuff in the middle.” They want to go from goals and vision to results in the speed of light. They forget to put the time, effort and engagement into the day to day culture of their company.
There is a saying-it takes a village. In the business world, I say it takes a culture! A culture that in every single touch point is engaged and fully alive. One person, one department can’t do it alone. Success is measures by the collective genius of everyone in the culture.
So what can managers and leaders need to do in order to drive customer and employee engagement in their organization? I suggest seven habits. Habits are daily disciplines and behaviors that can help you become more an effective engaged leader.
Stop being the Email Grandmaster in your organization-Yes we all need to communicate and share information, but you can’t lead anyone through an email. Don’t mistake leadership and engagement with communication. Managers communicate, leaders connect!
Get to know the customer and the employee on a daily basis-Data and graphs don’t always tell you the real story, but real time conversations help you be a more empathic leader. Every leader needs to establish “listening posts” in their organization to appreciate, listen and follow up on the human side of the business.
Support your teams through a crisis-As a leader, you need to be driving the big bus. You simply can’t afford to sit in the back and disengage from a crisis. People want to know that someone is right there with them “fighting the war” and not on the sidelines barking orders.
Expectations are not enough-Don’t forget to coach and train the people on your team. Jim Cora, retired chairman, Disneyland International said, “Marketing is the time and money you spend to get people in the door. Training is the investment you make to get customers to come back and employees to stay; it creates loyalty.” You need to reinforce your expectations daily.
Have a Leadership Touch Point– Douglas Conant the CEO of Campbell Soup asks,” What if you turn interruptions that we all deal with daily in the workplace turned out to be our best opportunity to make a difference and advance our organization’s agenda? We are all besieged by unending phone calls, meetings, e-mails and text messages, with questions to answer, concerns to address, problems to solve and fires to put out.”
Those interruptions can be chance to have a touch point with our staff and customers. Conant defines a TouchPoint the following way, “A TouchPoint is any time two or more people interact to get something done. A casual conversation with a colleague can become a TouchPoint when the focus shifts to an impending contract.”
Don’t forget to praise and celebrate-Engaged managers know how to keep a balance between sharing the bad news to praising and celebrating good news with their teams. Connect today and take the time to recognize and share the customer’s stories about the people in your organization that go the extra mile.
Harness the collective wisdom of everyone in your organization-Engaged leaders believe that all of us can achieve abundance when we put our ideas, suggestions and solutions together on the table. When we build on each other’s talents and contribution, we break the silos mindset and win together.