It's time to lead. Three quick ways to increase your engagement

Are you constantly finding people asking you for reassurance that everything is going to be OK? Have you noticed that people are hiding, keeping their heads below the parapet? That your workforce productivity and engagement has decreased? Chinese whispers are wreaking havoc on your business strategy?

I have. The last few months have felt a lot like the middle of 2008 when we were in the middle of the GFC. Redundancies were rife and people were fearful of what the economy would do and so they stopped, just about everything that moves things forward.

People were also desperate for leadership.

Often at the leadership level of a business everyone is up to speed with the strategy and is cracking on with getting their job done because the end game is highly visible, however it can be surprisingly easy to forget that the rest of the business needs to be reminded of why they are there and what the greater purpose is.

Here are three quick ways to increase engagement and productivity in your business and get your teams back on track.

Invite your staff to lunch

  • In the US they call these "Brown Bags" it means a sandwich lunch around a table with up to 10 people and one leader. The aim is to ask them how they are feeling, take note of it and help them understand that the company has a plan and with their help will have a great future.

Get them out of the office and in front of your customers

  • Get your staff to be your company's heart rate monitor. Give them permission to get out in the market and buying coffee for your customers. However prime them with positive messages first and a basic list of questions to be asking so that they understand why they are doing it.

Reinforce the message

  • Use your internal communications channels to invite staff to the brown bags and encourage them to be out in the market rallying the clients. Repeat your strategy - in plain English - and tell your positive stories, often.

Don't let the doomsayers have a field day, 2013 could be a year of great opportunity if you start rallying the troops now.