The hunt for lions

Engaged employees learn, grow, display strong leadership skills, provide heightened return on investment and significantly decrease your firm's turnover rate. Formulating a team that approaches work with vigor and passion, however, is easier discussed than executed.


Building just such a team is a crucial in your company’s ability to operate smoothly and navigate the changing business landscape while increasing productivity and motivation.

It starts with recruiting the right talent

By recruiting the right individuals, you will have a much easier time motivating, retaining and engaging your team. When hiring, look for candidates with the following traits:

Passion Recruit employees who are genuinely excited about their work and they’ll remain driven.

Work ethic Employees with a strong work ethic thrive in competitive environments and see hurdles as challenges to overcome, rather than roadblocks.

Integrity An employee can have all the motivation in the world, but without a solid reputation, that work will go unrewarded.

Resiliency Without the ability to recover from mistakes, motivation and engagement goes out the window.

Positive energy Hire employees who thrive on action and relish change.

Develop proper leadership tactics

It could be said that the true measure of leadership is influence. If you display strong leadership skills, employees will respond and produce at their best. Conversely, a lack of direction from senior team members can have devastating effects on employee motivation and engagement.

There are three key traits effective leaders share that motivate and engage employees. Consider these elements when assessing the senior members of your firm and ask yourself how you can create alignment.

Leaders are trustworthy. Leaders are consistent in their word and go out of their way to maintain trust with subordinates.

Leaders relentlessly upgrade their team and share with each and every employee their vision for the organization.

Leaders exude positive energy and instill a “can do” attitude that naturally motivates and engages employees.

The motivation most people miss
When you hire and motivate the right people, the right work gets done in the right way. The machine functions smoothly. The company becomes defined by productivity and improvement, widespread innovation and the ability to adapt to the changing business environment.

Keep your promises. Studies show that for employees to be motivated, sales recruiting minimums must be upheld. These include pay, working conditions and job security. Without these, headhunting even the best employees will yield undesired performance results.

Don’t use fear as a factor. The attempt to motivate employees by making them fear that they will lose their jobs will have the opposite effect–resulting in less energy and lower morale.

Tap into their creativity. Contrary to popular belief, money is not the most motivating factor for many employees. Studies have shown that the strongest and most pervasive driver of productivity is how creative an employee feels when working on a project. If you want to motivate employees, give them projects that allow them to use their creativity.

Challenge them. The most sought-after employees have a tendency to seek out challenge, to extend and exercise their capabilities, to explore and to learn.

Relax on the rules. Imposing too many rules and formal processes can impede your ability to motivate your staff. The more set a process, the less likely it is going to get done correctly. (That said, it is still important to set clear standards and adhere to them fairly and consistently.)

In the end

Regardless of whether your employees are introverted or outgoing, quiet or loud, the proper leadership foundation will keep them motivated and engaged–thus increasing your company’s competitive advantage and heightening the effectiveness of recruiting.

Author: Ken Sundheim