Employee engagement, or the lack of, is a topic often discussed in management meetings. Engaged employees who contribute to their maximum capability in a sustainable manner is every business owner’s dream. Is this just a pipe dream though? Apparently not, although its elusiveness makes it seem like it.
The engagement equation by BlessingWhite implies that the most engaged employees are the ones that will effectively contribute the most to the organisation and be satisfied in doing so, thereby remaining more with the organisation and making it sustainable.
Employee Engagement Equation
Unfortunately, most of the time, the employees’ values and goals are not well aligned with the organisation’s values and goals, thereby hindering the achievement of both the maximum business contribution and the maximum employee satisfaction. The “X” Model (BlessingWhite) visually explains this, indicating “The Engaged” employees at the apex of the cross-section of the business’ wants and the employee’s wants, with the other groups at the less than ideal positions.
Employee Engagement Starts Off With Great Culture & Clear Vision
First off the bat, your organisation must be built on a great culture with strong core values and all the team is made up of right persons. If this is the case, read on. If you are not 100% sure about this, you may want to read our article about Core Values.
Moreover, the leader of the organisation must know himself or herself where the organisation should be heading, by having a clear vision, purpose and long-term goal. If the leader of the pack does not know where he wants to go, how can you expect the pack to arrive there? So if you don’t have this crystal clear, then stop reading and give us a call…
The next step is to achieve better clarity and alignment with each employee. Most business leaders fall into the trap of believing that job descriptions are enough to get the employees to do the work. Since birth, we humans have this innate questioning of “Why?” and “How?”, even though it was probably subdued during our childhood. We need to know how we can contribute for the organisation to succeed and why we should do it, before getting down to do it. A report published by Gallup in 2017 highlighted how you can drastically increase employee engagement by ensuring that employees understand the company’s vision, understand their role to achieve this vision and involving them in the process to set their respective goals.
So how can business leaders make employees feel more aligned with the organisation?
You can achieve this in these 3 simple steps:
By communicating clearly the company vision and then explaining the impact that a particular job role has, that employee would be much more inclined to do the job in the best way possible if she subscribes to the company’s vision, wants to contribute to it and understands clearly how.
In order to describe the impact of a role to the whole organisation, it is useful sometimes to think of what would happen if the job is not done at all, how the lack of execution of this job role would create other consequences to other stakeholders (internal and external) that would in turn jeopardize the company’s vision. Such sequence of events can show the bigger jigsaw to employees.
Finally, to make the role’s impact even more real and palpable, you should set a measurable for the role that measures the impact and make the expectation clear by setting an achievable goal.
Let’s take a quick example to illustrate this process by considering the role of a dishwasher in a restaurant.
Note that a dishwasher may also identify with the organisation’s success through the organisation’s own measurables, such as clients’ feedback ratings, but these alone would not explain how the dishwasher can contribute directly to those clients’ feedback ratings.
Feedback & Engagement
Maintaining high levels of engagement is a responsibility shared by everyone involved in the organisation, requiring commitment and effort. A business owner is responsible to keep growing the great company culture and to bring to life the company’s vision as often as humanly possible. Managers are responsible to coach their team members and maintain an environment of accountability. Last, but definitely not least, employees themselves are also responsible to be self-aware, know their own ambitions and whether their job aligns with these, and act accordingly.
One important aspect to increase engagement is by managers holding regularly one-to-one sessions with their team members, to review performance and help the team member with specific feedback to improve for the upcoming week. Such sessions would create the necessary environment of accountability and also reinforce the link between the Company Vision & Employee’s Role Impact. Once again, the Gallup 2017 report found great positive correlation between managers providing the right feedback and employee engagement
Employees feeling accountable for their performance are 2.5 times more engaged
Employees provided meaningful feedback by their managers are 3.5 times more engaged
This also highlights the need for managers to learn how to communicate with and coach their employees more effectively.
Hard work Requires Great Tools
All this sounds like a lot of hardwork and it is true. However, there are various tools that business owners and managers can resort to in order to make the task easier and the outcome more successful. A business operating system like EOS can help you structure and map out the links between the company vision and the individual roles, whereas a leadership development platform like GiANT can provide you with the methodology to communicate better and coach your team members. All this to lead to higher employee engagements, to maximise the business contributions as well as the personal satisfaction levels of each employee. A true Win-Win.
Are you ready to start your transformation journey?