The Employee Engagement Equation

by terrywelford

in Leadership, Motivation, Productivity, Teamwork and Team Building

A lot has been written and discussed about employee engagement – it’s a topic that’s getting more attention than ever before. Various studies have shown that the benefits of having an engaged workforce are clear: increased revenues, higher employee productivity, lower turnover and higher returns to shareholders. Highly engaged employees are twice as likely to be top performers and miss 20% fewer days of work.

Engaged workplaceSome equate employee engagement with job satisfaction. Others measure engagement by gauging employees’ emotional commitment to their organization. One model of engagement that I particularly like (BlessingWhite) focuses on individuals':

  • contribution to the organization’s success; and
  • personal satisfaction in their role.

In this model, full engagement represents an alignment of maximum job satisfaction (“I like my work and do it well”) with maximum job contribution (“I help achieve the goals of my organization”).

Unfortunately, many recent research studies have found that the current level of employee engagement in most organizations is quite low. To reap the benefits described above, increasing employee engagement is a top priority. Contrary to what you might think, this is not the responsibility of only a few senior leaders in the organization. Everyone is accountable – let’s look at what individuals, managers and executives can do to increase engagement.

  • Individuals – Get clear direction on what your organization is trying to achieve. Understand your own values, interests, talents and aspirations. Seek coaching from your manager on achieving personal and organizational goals. Own your own engagement.
  • Managers - Your effectiveness is determined not only by what you do but who you are. Employees must trust in your ability and character – and understand your personal motivation. Talk to your people. Get to know them. Understand not only their special talents but also their unique engagement drivers.
  • Executives – Speak with passion about engagement and business results. You need the trust of the workforce. Communication needs to be a priority – in frequency, appropriateness and depth (the “what” and “why”). You must be diligent in holding yourself and your peers accountable for building a culture that fuels high performance and engagement.

Engagement matters. Don’t relegate employee engagement to an annual “attitude survey.” To realize the benefits that a more engaged organization promises, everyone – employees, managers and executives – needs to be accountable for their piece of the “engagement equation” on a daily basis.

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