5 Employee Engagement Tips: Inside the Mind of a CEO

Employee Engagement: Think Like a CEO.

Corner Office is a feature by Adam Bryant in the Sunday Business section of The New York Times. His interviews offer highlights from conversations about leadership and management. I believe his interviews offer terrific insight into the CEO’s perspective on leadership, management and employee engagement.

His most recent interview was with Barbara J. Krusiek, CEO of the Calvert Group on Career Ladder? It’s Time for a New Metaphor.

I encourage you to read the article but here are a few of Barbara’s engaging thoughts on building a team, working with peers, obstacle courses, and community focus:

Using a coach and building a team: “Tell me about your job, but now tell me about what you think you do here that is not in that job description that you think is really critical.” Wow, did I learn a lot about them, and it was very informative in shaping the team. I also asked this a lot my first couple years at Calvert: Tell me one thing that’s going on at Calvert that you think I don’t know that you think I should know.

Working with peers. Being able to work with my peers is probably the single most important attribute that helped me along my path or, as I like to call it, my career obstacle course.

Humility and the obstacle course. When you think of an obstacle course, there are a lot of people on the obstacle course at the same time, and my success doesn’t impede your success. And I may be able to take a minute and help you over that next obstacle and still get where I want to get to. I also think you have to be a little humble. You have to be maybe a little bit overly confident to break into new things, but a little bit overly humble about what you don’t know, and admiring of the talents different people bring to the table.

Community. This quality must be evidenced in everyone who comes to Calvert: we need to find out whether they have some attachment in their community. I don’t care if they’re active in their church or did Habitat for Humanity projects. They need to show they care about something outside of themselves. Those people who have that kind of community really understand that there’s a lot more to get from a career than just a paycheck. We give one paid day off a month for volunteering. In our investment process, we’re looking beyond the financials.

Here are 5  points to consider if you are a manager or leader:

  1. Are you engaging with coaches to improve your performance?
  2. Are you checking behind the scenes to learning what is going on?
  3. How well are you working with your peers?
  4. Do you blend moxie with humility to get things going, to realize what you don’t know, and to draw out the talents of your team?
  5. Are you engaging fully in your community and recognizing your organization is a community too?

Think like a CEO about engagement. I encourage you to read Adam Bryant’s interview with Barbara J. Krusiek and go think like a CEO about employee engagement!

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