Engaging Staff for high performance

I remember a few months ago I bought a good TV set for my mother and sent it straight home as a surprise gift to her. But alas the children at home failed to properly switch it  on and for sure my mum was temporarily disappointed with the TV which was not showing pictures. To my mum the TV is only good to her if it can show pictures otherwise the good brand does not make sense to her.  In the same vein a Chief Executive Officer of an organisation may also   recruit the best staff in terms of academics and experience with the potential to support the organisation in achieving its goals. The new staff for sure will not deliver as expected unless they are properly engaged or tuned on in the ways and culture of the organisation. In my career I have met  a number of new staff that failed to perform as expected because they were not properly engaged or focused in the ways and culture of the organisation. Unfocused staff will not help the organisation in moving from its inadequate current state to its desired future state. It is important for the ways and culture of an organisation to be clear in the mind of the new staff if they have to work towards the mission of the organisation.  In life I have reached a conclusion that an organisation cannot  succeed without the support of  carefully selected and engaged team. The engaged staff team tend to aim high in terms of revenue and profitability and unengaged staff do the reverse. In my career I have employed the following ideas to engage or focus staff to sustainable high performance;

Create positive mindset environment

I have always found it handy to tune the mindset of staff in a positive mode that focuses the mindset of staff on success despite the challenges along the way.  I have noted in practice that success is only achieved or attracted by positive minded people because they are focused on success. Many organisations do not achieve their mission because they have a number of negative mindset staff that are spreading the negative mindset among staff.

Help staff to develop their career path

I have met a number of staff who clearly do not know why they are on earth for and yet they can convince an organisation that they will  effectively support them in achieving its mission.  I find it impossible for a person without a mission to help an organisation in achieving its mission. In case you are faced with employees without a clear career path or mission in life you have to help and guide them in good career development short of this you have to get rid of them. There is therefore a lot of inspiration required from management for employees to develop and focus on a success career path. The staff with clear career path will tend to work hard in order to achieve their goals and the goals of the organisation they work for.  In practice the staff can only support an organisation to achieve its mission if the organisation will in return help the employees to achieve their goals.

Create an effective winning team

No individual employee has a good balance of skills, abilities and aspirations to enable them to achieve personal or business goals without support from others. Synchronizing the capacities of different people for achievement of common purpose is what makes teams strong. The team members in the process have a clear understanding of each team member’s role in achieving overall team objectives. In order to succeed in your mission, you have to create a staff team with a good balance of skills, abilities and aspirations.

Be available to guide staff

You can help staff to overcome a lot of work and none work related challenges if you are readily available to guide and encourage them on how to overcome challenges. You have therefore to create a number of platforms like sports days, birth day etc that will enable staff to freely access you.

Carrot and stick approach

The reward system in an organisation should be based on good performance and not on the union approach of fixing reward. In the union approach staff in the same job category are paid the same reward irrespective of their level of performance. The staff that do not meet the required performance standards should not be given a reward as they will be seen to be rewarded for their poor performance. The poor performers should be put on the performance improvement program (PIP) or encouraged to leave the organisation.

Get staff involved in strategy and business plan formulation

The staff are ambassadors of the organisation and they are responsible for the implementation of its policies that are aimed at achieving its goals. It is therefore important to involve staff in strategy and business plan formulation exercise as they are the ambassadors of the organisations and implementers of policies passed by the board of directors.  For sure staff cannot be good implementers and ambassadors if  they were not involved in strategy and business plan formulation.

 Create a value driven organisation

An organisation is a corporate person in a global world and should be guided by fundamental beliefs that guide management and staff in doing the right things even if no one is looking at them. In practice people and organisation tends to do business with other people and organisations that are guided by fundamental beliefs or core values.

Create a conducive work environment

Employees report early  and spend over 8 hours per working day at their employers work place and they go back home in the evening just to sleep and to prepare to return to work. The work place is therefore another home away from home.  The organisation should create conducive environment for employees to be inspired to work hard at their place without getting bored.


It is possible to deliberately tune the mindset of staff to a positive mode and thereafter engage them to focus on their success and that of their employer.

Author: John Muhaise Bikalemesa

Director: Big Drum Advisory Services Limited