Pen to Paper: Writing a Success Story of Your Employee Engagement Journey
We’re well beyond the days of trying to convince organizational leaders that highly engaged employees put in the most effort and produce the best work to increase business results.
Leaders get that.
What they need now is a credible story of the employee engagement journey, which starts with finding out just how engaged their employees are and what the employee experience really feels like, and if the company really has a good-vibes culture.
Only about 35% of today’s employees are engaged, and although Gallup reports this number is better than it used to be, organizations can definitely push for a higher score. Thirty-five percent isn’t even half of the workforce.
Employee engagement climbs when employees are pumped with passion. focus and drive.
Making progress in employee engagement requires leaders to be absolutely sure of what’s working and why, and they must fully commit to developing employees, according to Forbes contributor Naz Beheshti. She recommends four factors, based on the Gallup report, that will help employee engagement surge.
- Organizational purpose starts with the CEO and extends to every end of the organization
A lackluster leadership will only influence lackluster work within the company. Leading by example is particularly important for a purpose-driven team.
When leaders enthusiastically exhibit what top performance looks like, they help others work with similar stamina, upbeat energy, and the organization as a whole produces its best work.
“If managers themselves are not energized and inspired to motivate others, employee engagement efforts are sure to falter,” Beheshti says.
- Managers empower their people through coaching
A bad boss is the worst. They can discourage employees to the point hard-workers actively disengage from their jobs (and maybe even leave) - the complete opposite of what we want in employee engagement.
The best bosses wear a coaching hat instead of that of a chief. They guide their people and support them, they care about their wellbeing and they help employees become better where needed.
“I believe the best way to lead people is to help them unlock their full potential,” Beheshti says. “When leaders embrace employee development as one of their top priorities, the entire organization benefits.”
- Communication is effective; communication is a priority
Lack of communication leads to all sorts of problems: misunderstandings, foggy direction, hurt feelings, wrong assumptions, and unfortunately, failed relationships.
Finding hard-working talent is hard enough, so today’s bosses coaches must keep relationships with employees as strong as possible. An “open door policy” isn’t enough. How do you know an employee will even enter said open door? Do they feel comfortable enough to do so?
Coaches: Talk to your people, enable them and empower them, help them grow, give them direction and let them be heard.
“If people are your most prized asset, then people management must be elevated as a top strategic priority,” Beheshti writes.
- Accountability ensures managers deliver results
Accountability, like purpose, starts from the top and funnels down to all organizational levels. If managers aren’t held accountable to make a difference and produce results, how can employees be expected to do the same?
Leaders within a company should keep in touch with middle managers, making sure they’re invested in employees just as much as the company. After all, their job is to LEAD -- resembling a LEADER in their decisions and actions -- developing employees to become the best versions of themselves.
“Too often, middle management positions are seen as a stepping-stone to further advancement,” according to Beheshti. “High-development cultures acknowledge the value of those with a calling the develop others - but in turn, hold these managers accountable for their results.”
Interested in writing your own employee engagement journey story? Learn how to write your first chapter, and make your story one of success: Grab your seat for the upcoming webcast, “Beginning Your Employee Engagement Journey to Increase Business Results,” to be presented by Katie Zamora, Director of Employee Engagement at Luxottica. The March 11, 2 p.m. EST is free to attend, and registration is available online.