Three Ways To Ensure The Team Follows Your Lead

Employee engagement is soaring. Recent Gallup research reveals that 34 percent of employees say they are engaged, which is the highest level since 2000. While the uptick is positive, leaders still have much work to do.

Tiffany Delmore, co-founder of SchoolSafe, says there are many ways to get your team invested in your organization's direction and on board with where you want to take them. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Delmore's tips for cultivating buy-in on your team and ensuring they follow your lead.

1. Involve your team in decision-making. If you want to improve employee buy-in, let them have some skin in the game. When you include employees in the decision-making process from the outset, they don't just watch as great concepts come and go—they add their own ideas to the mix. Under Armour's founder and CEO, Kevin Plank, eschews unilateral decision-making in favor of team input. When the team grew too large to include all employees in big decisions, Plank created a team of six or seven high-potential employees to offer insights. Not surprisingly, some of the most effective companies in the world, including Google, still host "all-hands" meetings with everyone in attendance. These gatherings give people opportunities to share their thoughts while keeping everyone on the same page, says Delmore.

2. Illustrate the effectiveness of your strategy. Digital simulations are a great way to demonstrate the potential of a strategy without requiring your organization to go out on a real-life limb-yet. Delmore shares that David Ackley, executive vice president and head of digital at professional services firm BTS, noted in a recent op-ed that, "Digital business simulations not only give your whole company the opportunity to experience what great strategy execution looks like, but they also provide valuable data on how people make decisions and trade-offs in executing strategy." Digital simulations are a powerful way to create organizational alignment because they allow teams of any size to participate in the strategizing process. You can then gauge how employees feel about the strategy and make any necessary changes to promote more wholehearted buy-in while ensuring you have the skillsets you'll need to pull it all off.

3. Delegate to employee strengths. Delmore says that division of labor is critical for an effective team, and it's equally critical for employees to take on roles that correspond to their strengths. Think about a soccer team, where individuals serve as forwards, midfielders and defenders, depending on where they perform the best. In most cases, if you switch the striker and the goalie, the team might as well forfeit.

You can become the kind of leader that people want to follow. Even if you think you're succeeding at leading and motivating, you can always learn something new. Is your team inspired to follow you?

By applying the tips above, you can develop strong leadership habits and establish a true rapport with your team members.

Source: Tiffany Delmore is the co-founder of SchoolSafe.org, a company helping to develop safer educational environments.

filed under September 2019
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