The focus on employee engagement has grown geometrically over the past five years, but many organizations still don't know how to approach this challenge.
We have witnessed this rise in the work of the Engage For Success movement to increase engagement across the entire UK and in the plethora of daily articles, blog posts, tweets and updates on the topic.
We have demonstrated employee engagement makes a difference for financial results and individual well being. Now we must work at improving employee engagement for the benefit of all.
I have devoted my work over the past 10 years to employee engagement. I have been enthralled by the 5600 people who have joined the global Employee Engagement Network to engage in conversation, access resources and contribute to the community.
This pyramid of employee engagement is a 10-block model I created to represent a practical and tactical approach to engagement. It was inspired by evidence-based practices discovered by researchers. My motivation for creating this was the lack of capacity and guidance that many organizations, leaders and managers have for increasing employee engagement.
This is a block by block walk through the pyramid. A brief overview for each block is followed by one or two questions to develop deeper inquiry and practice with employee engagement.
We must connect employee engagement to results. These results can be financial, quality, safety, etc. If we fail to attach engagement to results we may end up with happy employees doing wonderful YouTube dances yet contributing little to achieving the organization’s strategic story.
Ask Yourself: What results do we most need to achieve? Is our engagement work aligned completely with results that matter to the organization and the employees?
Powerful engagement is specific to key performance. We want employees to know and understand the tasks that are most important for them to engage with in order to create and sustain results. Although engagement is frequently reduced to a yearly or bi-yearly score on a survey we all know that powerful engagement is about daily yet enduring and sustainable performance.
Ask Yourself: Do employees know the performances that will make a difference for the organization? Does performance management engage employees or tick them off with another disconnected and disengaging check box performance review?
Teresa Amabile and her husband Steven Kramer in "The Progress Principle" were instrumental in communicating and demonstrating that engagement is found within work rather than an extra task heaped on managers’ overburdened plates. Knowledge workers are engaged by progress and disengaged by setbacks.
Ask Yourself: How do we help our employees experience progress daily? What can we do to lessen the potential disengagement embedded within setbacks?
We are all social workers. This does not mean that we have a Master’s of Social Work degree. Rather, to a certain extent, all work has social components. This can range from collaboration for innovation to communication through internal social media channels and water cooler conversations. It might even mean having really good friends at work.