Keys to Employee Engagement
As we slowly crawl out of the dismal economic conditions of the last years we are left with a workforce that is dis-engaged. For employees left behind after company layoffs, their managers are having to re-engage or face the reality that employees will leave the company. Not only that but there are many job seekers re-entering the workforce having been laid off months or years ago; they’re not exactly ready to cheer for any company – even the one who has hired them. It’s a tough place for employers and employees.
Let’s take a look at what it means to have a business where employees are engaged and the keys to making that happen.
What is employee engagement? Employee engagement refers to a workplace in which contributors (employees) are trusted, valued and rewarded for their work by all levels of the organization. Employee engagement is more than a human resource or training program; it is a way of doing business that creates a workforce who exceeds expectations.
How is engagement measured? A common tool used to measure engagement is the Gallup Q12 model which is explained mathematically as follows: Per-person productivity =Talent x (Relationship +Right Expectation + Recognition/Reward). In simpler terms it is the relationship between productivity and employee expectation, recognition and rewards. While this is the standard its value as a singular tool to measure engagement is arguable.
Here are three keys to employee engagement:
- Culture in the Workplace: Whether you’re manufacturing widgets or changing lives through ministry it is important to create an environment in which employees are – and know they are – trusted and appreciated. This is often referred to as workplace culture where there is a system of rewards that includes money, time and gratitude. Half day Fridays, Casual Fridays, company sponsored lunches and events and work from home opportunities are examples of ways to create an engaging culture in the workplace.
- Hiring the Right People: For many organizations they are rebuilding their workforce and re-engaging those who have survived layoffs over the last five or so years. One of the ways to identify leaders from within the organization as well as hiring the right people from the outside is through personality assessments such as the DISC Assessment which helps employers identify employees who “fit” the culture and have aptitude to learn what is needed for the position for which they are hired.
- Management Buy-In: While I don’t particularly like the term “buy-in” it truly fits what I want to say. Business owners and organization leaders cannot create or sustain an engaging culture without managers being on-board or “buying into” the philosophies of the organization. For example, if the company policy is to let employees work from home because it increases morale and productivity and Manager A disagrees, it creates an uncomfortable environment. The employees know others are working from home but the employees under Manager A aren’t allowed or are frowned upon when they work from home; these employees don’t feel trusted and morale is apt to decrease creating a di-engaged staff.
We all know bad feelings spread fast throughout an organization; hiring managers and employees who understand the culture is key to success – yours and theirs!
Jessica Pierce is Founder and President of Accelerated Team Dynamics, LLC (ATD) a company dedicated to getting employees placed in the right positions in the marketplace by coaching companies as well as candidates. She is also Executive Director of Career Connectors, a community outreach program dedicated to connecting Real People to Real Careers. She is a known speaker, trainer and career transition expert.
- 8 Must-Have Elements of Any Resume (jessica-pierce.com)
- Maximize the DISC Assessment to Land the Job of Your Dreams (jessica-pierce.com)