3 Reasons Explaining The 'Why' Can Boost Your Employee Engagement
By: Vanderbloemen October 15, 2018
While the benefits of establishing a mission and vision are clear, when you get into the routine of day-to-day operations, it is often easy to forget the purpose behind each task on your to-do list. Most churches establish a mission and vision from the beginning to communicate the purpose behind everything they set out to do. What if church leaders applied that same mentality to each project and task presented to their staff and team members?
Here are three ways clear communication on the purpose behind new projects and assignments can motivate your staff members and boost their productivity.
1. Provide Clarity
Explaining the 'why' helps paint a clear picture and enables everyone involved to work towards a common goal. When there’s clarity, it’s easier to communicate and move forward as a team.
A trend I noticed in processing the feedback for our Culture Tool is that trust in leadership is consistently a strong point. In contrast, communication is frequently the weakest aspect of a workplace culture. In churches and faith-based organizations, employees may be more inclined to trust their leaders because of shared values and motives that drive them. However, trust in leadership without effective communication can result in an unmotivated and stagnant workforce.
Challenging yourself to communicate the ‘why’ behind every new initiative or program you introduce can be a great practice for providing clarity that will boost communication and keep the dialogue open between you and your team. You don’t want to take your team’s trust for granted. They may share the bigger picture values that drive your decision-making, but don’t assume they know why you want them to take on a new responsibility or task.
2. Promote Unity
At Vanderbloemen, we all contribute to this church leadership blog. Now, one could easily see how getting everyone to participate can be challenging, especially when it comes to those whose main job responsibilities might not include writing. Even as someone who enjoys writing, I find myself procrastinating when it comes to brainstorming blog post ideas. That is, until one of our lead team members shares some tangible impacts our contributed pieces have on the community we get to interact with.
As a leader, when you make an effort to identify and communicate the ‘why,’ be sure to clarify the impact you and each member of your team have on your congregation and community. Not only will this serve as a strong motivator, but it will also strengthen the unity within your team. There’s nothing more motivating and unifying than knowing the impact of your work.
3. Encourage Connection and Ownership
In the world of psychology, there’s a concept called “social facilitation” which observes how people tend to perform better when they feel connected to others in some way. Many case studies around this topic involve observing people’s behavior in group settings versus alone, or in front of an audience as opposed to in a private setting.
While there are definitely things leaders can do to create a collaborative working environment, there are some tasks and assignments specific to each individual’s role. As a result, there may not always be an opportunity to collaborate in a group setting. This is where communicating the ‘why’ comes in. Knowing the reason behind one’s role links their day-to-day responsibilities to the impact your church or organization has. Being reminded of the importance behind one’s work can turn an isolating task into a team effort.
Everyone likes to be a part of something great, but sometimes, it’s hard to see that in the midst of an ever-increasing to-do list. The short amount of time it takes to shed some light on the 'why,' especially when introducing a new initiative, provides the clarity, unity, and motivation necessary for a productive and fully-engaged culture.
How can you better communicate the purpose behind new tasks and responsibilities with your team?