We all want that 'magic pill' to get anything fixed in an instant.
Whether its a smaller waistline, the house redecorated or a more engaged workforce being able to click your fingers and it just happening would be amazing.
The problem is - that's just not the reality of the situation.
It doesn't mean that you can't cheat a little to speed up the process.
If you've been reading some of my other posts you'll know I'm a big fan of cheating like cheating your way to mental health by diffusing uplifting essential oils, or cheating your way to physical fitness by changing your diet... (I think it's important for me to say that I do not advocate cheating in competitions - not only is that rude and very unsporting it could get you in a lot of trouble #doping *cough*).
So how do you cheat in employee engagement?
Don't panic it's not going to cost you hundreds or thousands of pounds in bribery tactics. These very rarely work and something I advise against.
You will however, need to get to know you're employees a little.
You will have had to gone through the initial 'hello' and talking phase mentioned in the other post: where to start in employee engagement.
There's nothing you can do to skip that part.
But you can speed up the next part without too much hard work.
I'm sure you know about personality, and that everyone has a unique combination of different personality traits which helps make us our own awesome person?
Well, by tapping into their personality traits you can become more effective at communicating with them on their wavelength.
Being able to communicate in a way which is comfortable to them will speed up the trusting process.
Once they trust you they will be like putty in your hands.
You can mold, shape and guide them to achieve everything you need them to.
Your days will no longer feel like you're dragging your team through quicksand to achieve the smallest and simplest task.
Instead it will feel as though your floating through clouds...
OK, so enough random imagery for now & I'll get back to the task at hand - personality.
Here's a few examples of what I mean:
If you are someone who is very direct and has no time for chit-chat but are trying to engage someone who regularly 'chats' by just telling them what to do they will feel very unsettled. They may even perceive you as being bossy, aloof, uninterested, uncaring... All of which may not necessarily be true but this doesn't matter. It's their perception of you that matters. So to overcome this you will need to engage in a little bit of chit-chat before hand & guide them to solutions.
If you are direct and engaging someone else who is direct then tell it straight, no fluff, no random chit-chat.
If you're direct and talking to someone who you know is a bit of a data head then weave in facts, figures and stats to make your point.
It all comes back to the age old saying:
"Treat others as they wish to be treated."
By engaging on their level you will intensify the speed at which they trust you and this in turn speeds up the whole process.
All sounds easy peasy doesn't it?
It may be a bit weird in the beginning and a little difficult to keep chopping and chaining your delivery method to suit but trust me it's absolutely worth it.
Just don't use a random personality test you found on the internet (or Facebook) to determine what your employees are really like. It won't be helpful.
To be honest in the science community personality tests and the effectiveness of their ability to sum people up into a few categories are still quite contentious.
Just watching your employees when they're interacting with others, and paying attention to how they behave when they're working can give you a great insight into how you should approach them.
If you still want to go for a test then something based on the Five Factor Model of Personality (or Big 5); extroversion, contentiousness, openness to experience, neuroticism and agreeableness, has been shown to be the most stable and widely evidenced.
Make sure it's simple to understand - some I've seen being peddled on the internet have upwards of 30 different categories... While you may have a great insight into why you behave the way you do from a test with a million different categories just imagine having to remember all of that for each member of your team...
The simpler it is the more likely you are to use it and using it to inform your interactions is a great way to speed up the engagement process.
For more tips, tricks and hacks to speed up the engagement process download our free employee engagement checklist by following the link below:
Have a great day & happy engaging!
P.S. Use observation with caution because although I waffle in these blogs, if you needed me to do something waffling would drive me bonkers! I'm straight talking and quite blunt when it's time to get going.