Three Ways to Improve Employee Engagement

Three Ways to Improve Employee EngagementIf you want to know the facts about what’s going on with employee engagement, check out Gallup, which has been studying the topic for years. In fact, on its website, Gallup’s analytics feature a daily tracker measuring employee engagement. What’s not so impressive, however, is the dismal state of employee disengagement in American companies, which has been hovering around 70% for some time now. Equally sobering, only one in five employees gets managed in a way that motivates them to do excellent work, Gallup states in its “State of the American Workplace” survey (February, 2017). These are bitter truths that organizations and their leaders struggle with regularly. Often, they know they’ve got to drive change yet don’t know how or fear what change might really require in terms of time, money and other resources. If your organization suffers from this common misfortune, call it out and then put a plan into action to tackle employee engagement once and for all.

Here’s how to start improving your employee engagement levels:

1. Survey Your People

A lot of organizations think they’ve got their pulse on their people but, in reality, they are often off base. For example, they miss the mark when it comes to knowing exactly what their employees think and feel about their jobs. Here, the danger is that decisions get made off assumptions rather than facts, and this can lead to making big mistakes. Curious about your organization’s employee engagement levels? Go find out, using surveys or other interview techniques. Collect the quantitative and qualitative data you need to get a good picture. Then be open about it—share the results with your people and create a call to action to address next steps.

2. Bring New Voices To The Table

If you’re working on boosting employee engagement levels and noticing pushback, you might need to ask if the supporting strategies are truly working and, if not, question who needs to be involved in resolving this. For example, a lot of seasoned leaders tend to rely on solutions that are based in a “because we’ve always done it that way” mindset. They default to what’s the norm, defaulting to the same people for solutions and choosing status quo strategies over truly innovative and more inspiring ones. Assuming your organization’s leaders and managers do bring clear value to the table, honor their ideas but encourage other employees to contribute as well. For example, those working on the frontlines of the business often have great ideas about how to resolve their own job issues. But if you don’t ask them to contribute those ideas, they may hold back, defaulting—per the leadership’s direction—to what’s always been done. When you involve these folks and make them part of the equation, they feel more valued and will take ownership in the change.

3. Take Action—Now

It sure can be easy for companies to create a roadmap for growing employee engagement and then drop the ball when it comes to executing that plan. Excuses may get made (we’re too busy, no money in the budget, not enough buy-in, etc.), particularly when any changes roll out. But try to stay the course if you know your plan is good and will benefit your people. When you know employee engagement needs a turnaround, it pays to keep moving forward. As stated in the Gallup report, “Organizations have nowhere to hide. They have to adapt to the needs of the modern workforce, or they will find themselves struggling to attract and keep great employees and therefore customers.”

What successes or struggles have you had around the topic of employee engagement?

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