By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM
Vince Lombardi nailed it. But, your employees don’t owe you their commitment. As a leader, it is your responsibility to earn the commitment of those in your organization. Looking out for your employees and earning their commitment is not only good for them, it’s good for you, and it’s good for business. When employees are committed to you, as a leader, and the organization, they work willingly in the best interest of the whole. It eliminates the ‘I’m only in it for me’ attitude. Employees are willing to give their ‘all’ to a leader, a cause, and a vision that they believe in. So, how can you earn employee commitment?
The relationships you build with your employees are going to be key in earning their commitment. These relationships cannot be merely superficial; you must develop them on an individual level. This means not only being interested in them professionally, but also personally. Your relationships have to be real, no faking. Employees will see straight through your façade. Be yourself with employees; let them get to know the real, imperfect you. Show them that you are interested in their well-being and personal growth. Meaningful relationships earn commitment, boost productivity, and inspire employees to give 110%.
There will be no commitment from your employees without trust. The loyalty you need from your employees requires trust that goes both ways. No games; no tricks. Your actions and words must be honest and consistent. Show your employees that you have their backs. Create and share key learning moments with them. Be open about your failures and weaknesses. Also, you must provide them with a safe place to fail and learn from their mistakes. Give them control over their own work tasks, showing that you trust and have confidence in their abilities.
Earning commitment from your employees takes a whole lot of open and ongoing communication. Communication is a tool for sharing the organization’s stories in a way that brings employees together to be part of something important. Communication allows you to convey how employees’ work contributes to the overall success of the organization. Communication is also a two-way street. Listen more than you speak. Pay close attention to what is being shared and make sure you are on the same page. Communication helps you to remove the barriers to trust, which helps build the relationships that earn employee commitment.
People simply work harder and are more committed when they are allowed to use their talents. When your employees are engaged in their work, they are more likely to be motivated, to remain committed to your organization, and to stay focused on achieving shared goals. Engaged employees have a sense of purpose and know they are making a difference. When you engage your employees in their work, you challenge them, bring out the best in them, and offer them the opportunity to grow and develop.
And finally, if you want to earn the commitment of your employees, acknowledge their contributions and value. Your employees are your greatest resource, don’t take them for granted. Show them that they are part of something bigger than themselves, something meaningful and important.
Earn Their Commitment
To be successful you need every employee to be committed to the group effort. They do not owe you this commitment; it is yours only when you have earned it. So, build strong relationships, develop mutual trust, cultivate open and honest communication, create an engaging workplace, and acknowledge the value and contributions of every employee. That’s how you make it work.
© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli
Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.
Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.