Create a Winning Sales Culture: Emotional Commitment, Loyalty and Employee Engagement
When all is said and done, the critical link between strategy and execution is people. Savvy business people understand and embrace this fact. In the following, I will offer a few thoughts on proven practices for connecting with people to build a growth-oriented environment characterized by mutual respect, trust and accountability.
- Build a foundation with honesty and integrity
It may be hard to share difficult news; however, being honest and forthright, especially during tough times, is something the most respected and trustworthy leaders learn how to do. Whether your company hasn’t met its goals and is unable to award bonuses this year, or you must let go of a member of the team, or be it another important matter. Rather than putting off the difficult discussion, people will respect a leader who is able to openly explain the situation, take the tough questions and give them the facts.
- Be accountable and admit mistakes
While being transparent about bad news is difficult, admitting when it’s you who’s made a mistake can be even more difficult. You may be surprised to find that many employees will like you more for it. Admitting mistakes actually makes you more human and, assuming you’re a competent leader, may have you be more likeable to others. Psychologists call this the “Pratfall Effect”. Being able to admit to and take responsibility for your mistakes is a major part of being a good leader.
- Treat employees like people, not numbers
In a competitive, fast paced environment it’s easy to get lost in the numbers. If the success (or survival) of your business is based on meeting certain goals, you might fall into the trap of seeing employees in terms of output achieved. Get to know your folks as individuals.
You don’t have to know all the details of your employees’ personal lives, but strive to get to know folks on an individual basis. It’s understood that this is even more challenging when so many employees are now working remotely. Nevertheless, you must be committed to each employee’s personal development and have a good understanding of what your employees find most interesting about their current work. Furthermore, you must know their longer-term aspirations. It’s a proven fact that when people know you are genuinely concerned about them as individuals, they’ll go the extra mile for you.
- Give due credit to your employees
As the business leader, you will often receive recognition and compliments from others for the results of your team’s efforts. Make sure you express appreciation and acknowledge your team members for their hard work and contributions.
Studies show that that employees who receive recognition from their leaders are significantly more likely to trust them.
- Demand excellence of your team and put yourself on the line for them
To gain trust, managers must be their team’s best advocate. People want to know that the leader will represent their best interests and has their backs. Just as you must have corrective actions and coaching for each individual, it is you that must be fully accountable for your folks’ performance.
- Communicate often and ask for feedback
Provide a forum for open, two-way communications where employees can speak freely and candidly without fear. And while it may feel a bit uncomfortable at times. you must encourage and acknowledge valid, constructive feedback. Finally, you must take action! It is essential that you use this information to implement positive improvements in the business.
This all sounds simple but in reality, consistent execution on the aforementioned items is challenging. Nonetheless, the benefits to your business in terms of employee emotional commitment and engagement are enormous, resulting in ownership and committed execution for increased growth, and happy customers.
For a brief discussion on this and other proven strategies to enhance your business growth, schedule an appointment here for a free 30- minute consultation.