Friday, April 27, 2012

Energize or re-energize your teams to improve performance

I meet a lot of managers who want to energize their teams.  There are many reasons teams become de-energized.  The draining years of recession, working more hours than they have in the past, success coming far and few between, waiting for new business to come, layoffs, lack of confidence in leaders and strategy ... and the list goes on.  The reasons are many, and they don't matter.  What's important is moving forward with an energizing strategy.

Working with managers and organizations around the world since 1996 in doing this work, we've learned what many of you already know.  Communications is at the heart of energizing.  However, when most people hear that, their reaction is to solve the communications problems by doing things that do not have a positive impact on energy.  Leaders and executives start to think about ways to do more top-down communications.  The answer is more newsletters, more meetings, and more emails.  These are the things employees actually find annoying and de-energizing.

What employees want when they ask for communications is more:


The art of listening and doing needs to be taught and requires tools.  Managers are trained at talking and communicating down; there is much less time and attention given to the act of listening.  And even less attention is given to learning how to listen and then select what information to act upon.

It's not a skill you develop in a one-day seminar.  We've instituted 6-month programs for managers to change habits by practicing new ones.  These new habits are formed by using new tools to help managers listen, do and energize.


We also find that what employees do want information on is direction.  The continuous sidetracking is making employees, managers and even CEOs frustrated.  Strategically addressing the need for direction dialogue can have amazing positive results on improving employee energy at work.


You may wonder why I am  talking about energy.  With over 1 million data points on employee energy at work, my research shows that energy predicts individual, team and firm performance.  That's why this phase of work was developed. If energy matters for performance, then the next question is how to help improve energy at work.

Check out the energy core metric at:

If you want to learn more about the manager intervention work, contact

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