When was the last time you stepped onto a roller coaster?
Did it feel like this? ➡️(watch the video...it's hilarious)
Being an entrepreneur or executive in today’s world is sort of like riding the Kingda Ka at Six Flags, going 128 mph…while unbuckled.
Click...click...click...the sound of the gears hypnotize you as the incline begins - your heart beats out of your chest and the blood rushes to your fingertips.
Finally you're at the top unable to see anything but a big blue sky, there's a brief moment of silence, and just like that gravity rips the cars down as the screams from your fellow thrill seekers pierce your ears. The wind slaps you in the face and your body shakes from the twists, turns, and loops.
And then it's over...2 hours in line for 2 total minutes of euphoria.
Invigorating and terrifying at the same exact time.
Disappointment > Bliss ?
While there are amazing moments as a leader, the feeling of disappointment, chaos, and stress seem to outweigh the blissful ones. When the tough moments become the norm, the “hard days” pile up, and you find yourself entertaining the idea of changing your title to include “crisis manager” - it feels like you’re on the roller coaster that never ends. You know those WTF moments, like:
👎A huge sales opportunity is missed because someone dropped the ball on following up.
😱A 5-year client ends the contract because your account services team gave a halfass experience and delivered sub par results.
😖Your top operator resigns because you’ve been unwilling or unable to fire your CFO who is creating a toxic culture.
And if you’re like many other leaders we work with, you miss “how it used to be.”
While at a dinner last week, one entrepreneur shared with me how he missed the vibe his company once had. It used to be fun, lively, full of hustle and heart - and now it seems like everyone is at a yoga retreat and work has taken a backseat.
These are things we all deal with.
Of course we wish the roller coaster would slow down or even come to a stop so we could get a breather.
Instead of wishing, hoping, dreaming it was different, easier, or better - start with resetting your expectations. It’s going to be hard. Don’t resist it.
Now that you’re in the stage of acceptance and ok with hard 😉….let’s talk about your team 👍
Why does work, your culture, or team feel the way it does right now?
❔Is it that they aren’t emotionally and mentally connected; therefore they’re not showing up like they once did?
❔Is it that they’re burnt out and feel overworked? Are they “quiet quitting” and doing just enough to get their paycheck but nothing more?
❔Did they stop believing in you, the mission, or the organization as a whole?
It’s difficult to solve something you can’t diagnose…but it’s safe to say your team isn’t all-in or fully engaged.
The importance of employee engagement hasn’t really changed over the years, but what drives it has dramatically changed - especially for hybrid and remote workforces.
Microsoft’s Work Trend Index Special Report breaks down the drivers of engagement in the simplest way:
Does Your Team Trust You?
If I had a dollar for every time a client's Voice of the Employee survey came back saying communication is poor, I would’ve been able to retire 10 years ago. It’s rare for companies to do this well, especially now with the velocity of change, digital overload, and antiquated systems.
Knowing that aspiring to be the best communicator is like shooting for the stars - where does one start, especially if it’s the key to unlock engagement?
- Know where you’re going and figure out the top priorities to get there at the leadership level. This is likely clear in your head but has not been effectively translated to your team which means they’re not only not rowing in the same direction. It’s likely they aren’t even in the same boat.
- Build goals around the priorities and connect them to your team - so everyone is focused on what’s most important.
- Equip your leaders with modern communication tools that meet employees where they are and make sure they’re able to turn the dial up or down on communication by leveraging AI data-driven analytics.
Communication is the response you get back and one step toward creating a feedback flywheel which is what sustains engagement.
What the hell is a feedback flywheel?
It’s basically a listening system, a continuous loop in which a combination of employee feedback and behavioral data is gathered, analyzed, and turned into actions that get communicated back to employees and implemented across the organization.
People are more apt to adapt to change and even drive the change needed if they feel as though the new direction, ideas, or approach is based on their feedback and insights. Employees who believe their feedback will lead to action are more confident, invested, and likely to stick around for the long haul.
In short, your success will be dependent on your ability to communicate and listen. Seems easy - right?
The good news is there are many tools and guides that can help you get there. This is exactly why we built Latch - to help leaders communicate more effectively, measure that effectiveness, and create a “closed loop listening system” - so they can use data to make quick decisions with precision. Happy to give you a 14-minute, no strings attached demo so you can see for yourself.
Buckle up and get those hands in the air - it’s going to be a great ride.