IT’S REALLY DEPRESSING how many people are disengaged from their jobs.

I’ve been there, and you probably have too.  It’s not a great feeling.

But guess what? As a leader and business owner, you have the great opportunity to do something about it for your people.  And it’s not rocket science.

The fact is that people want to have a reason to care about their work and the people they spend so much time with.  A lot of this is emotional connection, which can be an uncomfortable space to operate in.

Here are the key principles for you:

Honesty: You want to communicate why you yourself are so attached to this company. I would hope that that includes reasons why others should engage, that it’s not all about how you personally will benefit at the expense of everyone else.

Vulnerability: If you want to engage others, you’ll need to bring down some barriers yourself. People care about opening up to those who are open themselves; that’s what builds a trusting relationship. So just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you have everything all solved and sorted.

Depth: There has to be more to the work relationship than just paying people to show up. There’s a reason why you hired each person. And their work matters, right? So how can you help them to recognize that great value they’re adding to the business?

At the end of the day, it’s this depth of meaning which gives most people the spark of inspiration to do great work every day. It’s just that without a boss who is honest and vulnerable, the spark is going to be snuffed out quickly.