I am working with a group comprised of eight teams. Prior to the current head of the group taking over two years ago, their engagement scores were deplorable. Three teams ranked their engagement at 0%. None of the rest scored higher than a 60 percent.
When the current head came on, she noticed that some of the team leads were not the greatest fit. She replaced them and began to work hard to increase engagement. She gave her time to help them heal from the previous head, who happened to be quite toxic. She created incentives and showed the group how to work toward excellence. The current head is sharp, strategic and knows how to connect to people. She also temporarily threw work/life balance out the window in order to get her team to a better place.
With the latest engagement survey results in three of the teams, we are now at 100 percent! The next highest had an 87 percent. There were the three teams who now rank between 35 and 60 percent, and still one team scored 0.
As I observed the entire group in action, it was noticeable that some in the group were fully motivated and others were just existing. They wanted to do the bare minimum to get by. When the group leader and I talked about it, she said that despite the changes she has made and ways in which she has tried to gain engagement, there was “lip-service movement”. In other words, no action was taken to increase their own engagement.
The results of lack of engagement are palpable. It is like the little yeast that goes through the whole dough. Those who are fully engaged have to fight the demoralizing impact of that yeast. Moreover, those who are not engaged are not as fulfilled as they could be. This impacts, group culture, productivity, and the opportunities the team pursues.
Now the current head may need to replace more people. She is trying to give them a shot at turning things around. She asked if I would deliver a workshop on internal motivation. This blog presents the 9 ways to increase your motivation that we discussed in the workshop.
Whether you find yourself with high or low motivation, I hope these steps will help you go even higher.
Even if you personally have low engagement, these steps will help you grow so that you can spend your hours at work in a much healthier way.
Increase Motivation and Become Full Engaged
- Set a Clear Vision of What you Want. What do you want out of life? What is your end? Do you have a clear vision of where you are ultimately heading in this life? If not, take the time to crystallize it. If you don’t know how to do this, email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you free workbook called, "Call & Design." It gives you eight proprietary exercises that will help you discover what you are called to do and how you are designed to do it. The exercises are a lot of fun and have gotten great results for clients over the last 10 years.
- Focus on What is Essential. What is the most essential part of your role? As the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown describes so well, if you go all in on that essential role, not only will your engagement go up, but you will also reach excellence in your role
- Investing + Sacrificing = Full Commitment & Greater Love. Do you want to love something more? Do you want to love someone more? All you have to do is keep finding ways to invest in it and sacrifice for it. If you find yourself struggling with engagement, it could be in part because you have not fully committed to your role. Those who are fully committed enjoy their lives more.
- Repeat What You Did in the Past that Led You to be Fully Engaged. Think to the past. When have you been fully engaged? What led you to be fully engaged during those times? Look for what is in common in those times and apply those things to your current circumstance.
- Address What Has De-Motivated You. What has led you to lack motivation? Are you coming out of a tough time? Do you need to heal? Is your environment toxic? Whatever it is... address it. If it doesn’t feel safe going directly to your boss, look for ways to forgive in order to relieve the burden of bitterness. If the situation is truly toxic it may be time for a change in role.
- Use Positive Re-Frame. The words you choose convey the beliefs that are hidden in your heart. If you use victim language ("There is nothing I can do,” “It's hopeless," etc.), you are reinforcing the belief. Fight the belief by moving into a positive frame of mind ("I will find three options that will make things better for me in this role.")
- Make it Fun. In a previous blog I wrote about how I hate paperwork but yet I have to do it. So I created a “Paperwork Playlist” and filled it with songs that I enjoy listening to. The catch was that I could only listen to the songs when I was doing paperwork. I am happy to report that my big box of paperwork is now empty. I had more fun completing the paperwork than I ever have before. What’s your version of making it fun?
- Master Your Role. Those who master their roles truly excel and enjoy their work. Their engagement is high. Remember number 2 above: "Focus on what is essential." Nail that piece and then continue to advance excellence throughout your role. The more you go for excellence the higher your engagement and motivation will be.
- Become Indispensable. If someone wanted to replace you with a far better version of you, what would they look for? These are the characteristics that you should be looking to move toward. Doing so will increase your motivation and get you fully engaged.
As you start to employ some of these steps, you should see your motivation and engagement improve.
Looking forward to hearing how it goes for you!
Chew on This: Which step will you start with to advance your engagement?
Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.