Feb 11
Stacey Ashley Blog

How to Increase Engagement & Motivation. Lead Your Team with The 70% Rule.

Conversations I’m having at the moment are interesting. While there is a high level of optimism about moving forward after two years of COVID impacts, there is also a plethora of challenges still in play. Things like fatigue and exhaustion, difficulty finding focus and motivation, in some cases declining engagement, retention of talent as people re-evaluate what is important, loss of connection and trust across teams and with their leaders, and the struggle to maintain effective levels of productivity and performance while creating relevant and sustainable organisations.

Do any of these factors ring true for you?

  • What have you noticed about your team and their level of connection, collaboration, and trust?
  • What has been the impact of the last couple of years on your people’s levels of engagement and motivation?
  • How are the connection and levels of trust across your leadership team, or with your peers and boss?
  • How are your people feeling?
  • What about the trends in productivity and performance?

Some of these challenges can seem large and confronting when you are the leader charged with finding the right way forward. If this is how you are feeling… you are not alone… and there are things you can do.

Sometimes, simple can help. Take the 70% Rule for example.

The 70% Rule is something that was shared with me by my Dad. (I’ve shared it previously and believe it is worth revisiting in today’s context.) This is a simple rule of thumb that may help to get you and your team engaged and performing well.



To be engaged and performing well, people need to be:
1. Using their skills and knowledge … at least 70% of the time
2. Doing work they enjoy … at least 70% of the time
3. Working with people they like … at least 70% of the time

Simple and common sense, right?

Yet, I’m hearing and seeing these simple needs are not being met.

The 70% Rule

Leaders have the opportunity right now to create situations and opportunities where people are using their skills and knowledge, doing work they enjoy, and working with people they like at least 70% of the time. Leaders can create situations in which their people can thrive, be engaged, and perform.

How do you create this opportunity for your people?

One quick way is to use your one-on-one’s to ask your people a few questions to help them reflect on these 3 factors. From here they have the opportunity to make good choices for themselves. Here are a few questions to get you started:


  • How are you using your skills and knowledge at the moment?
  • How else could you be using them?
  • What can you do to optimise using your skills and knowledge?
  • What might need to change so you could use your skills and knowledge even more?


  • How often are you doing work that you enjoy?
  • How can you increase the level of work you enjoy?
  • What might need to change?
  • How can I, your leader, help with this?


  • How often are you working with people you like?
  • What can you do to build stronger working relationships with your colleagues?
  • How can you create opportunities to collaborate with colleagues?
  • What can you do to ensure you spend more time working with people you like? (this is particularly relevant with the rise of flexible working arrangements in and out of the office)


If there is something missing for them, what would it take to make a change so that they can be engaged, be performing, be productive, be a contributor, and of course feel really great about all of these things as well?

This is a simple and powerful approach to fostering and nurturing good performance and engagement. And so easy to implement.

What will be your first step?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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