There is a great deal of published academic work on what drives engagement and likewise a range of opinions on what the key drivers or enablers of employee engagement are. This article draws on the great work of the McLeod Report on enhancing organisational performance through employee engagement and their Global Workforce Study (2007-2008) report by Towers Perrin. (both worth reading if you have the time).
In the Towers Perrin report, employee-opinion research shows that of seventy five possible drivers of engagement, the one that was rated as the most important was the extent to which employees believed that their senior management had a sincere interest in their well-being. But when surveyed, employees reported that only 29% felt that their senior management was sincerely interested in their well-being, 32% were neutral and 39% said they did not believe that managers had their well-being in mind.
The second most significant driver of engagement was the extent to which employees believed that they had improved their skills and capabilities over the previous year.
Interestingly, the organisation’s reputation for social responsibility came in at number three and number four was employee input into decision making. Setting of high personal standards, good relationships with supervisors and challenging work assignments were also rated highly.
So, what can you take from this research to increase your team engagement?
- Provide a strong strategic narrative to provide meaning to the work of your organisation and increase ownership and commitment from managers and employees at all levels. The narrative is a clearly expressed story about what the purpose of an organisation is, why it has the broad vision it has, and how an individual contributes to that purpose. Employees that have a clear line of sight between their job and the narrative, and understand where their work fits in leading to a strong, transparent and explicit organisational culture and way of working.
- Have a focus on integrity and congruency ensuring that behaviour throughout the organisation is consistent with stated values, leading to greater trust and a sense of integrity.
- Stretch your team and challenge them to do more and take on challenging assignments and participate in training to grow their skillsets. Help them discover what they are capable of and how great they can be when stretched. Hold them accountable to their commitments and give them feedback to help them improve.
- Develop engaging managers as they are at the heart of organisational culture; they facilitate and empower rather than control or restrict their staff; they treat their staff with appreciation and respect and show commitment to developing, increasing and rewarding the capabilities of those they manage.
- Provide your employees a voice, ensure their views are sought out, they are listened to and see that their opinions count and make a difference. They speak out and challenge when appropriate. A strong sense of listening and of responsiveness permeates the organisation, enabled by effective communication.
- Ensure your organisation has a clearly articulated strategy around social responsibility, supporting of charity or making a difference the lives of people less fortunate than you are. An example of this is to have a chosen charity or set aside a fund to match donations made by employees in support of charitable causes.
- Build stronger relationships with your team members, take the time to understand what is most important to them (their values), their goals, fears and desires. Demonstrate through your actions that you are looking out for them and truly want them to be successful.
So, just reading this information will not enable you to make a difference in your organisation.
Consider TWO things you are committed to action within the next seven days to start your journey to greater employee engagement.
If we can be of assistance to implement these strategies within your organisation, contact us here to book a time to have a chat.