Through working with over 200 global organizations, we know that change initiatives will wither or thrive based on what we, as leaders, do to create a climate that encourages and supports positive new behaviors. How leaders engage employees is a critical factor that determines the work environment. Engagement involves rewarding, recognizing, and most importantly respecting your employees for their ideas.
At this year’s Front End of Innovation conference, Harvard Business School’s Teresa Amabile spoke about the importance of respecting people and their ideas, and how people need to feel a human bond at work if they’re going to get invested in their work. For managers in particular, she created this checklist that she encouraged everyone to use at the end of their day to assess employee engagement:
1. Did people get the personal support they needed?
2. Are people’s ideas and suggestions being dismissed?
3. Did I recognize people for the progress they made?
As leaders, creating an environment where people’s ideas and progress are supported and rewarded is one of the most important things we can do to move innovation forward.