Employee Engagement – Whose task is it anyway?

This is a guest post by Andy G. Schmidt. He founded Beekeeper Communication Pte. Ltd. to help enterprises to boost their productivity in Communication and Employee Engagement to address the constant challenge of low employee motivation and high staff attrition rates.

Save yourself some time and skip this blog post if you either doubt that employee engagement is a leading indicator of business performance or if you are convinced that employee engagement is the sole responsibility of HR.

But, on second thought, maybe this post is exactly meant for you.

To quickly put to rest the first false belief, let’s have a look at the Engagement-Service-Profit-Chain:

 

Engaged employees fuel a virtuous cycle.

Engaged employees create stronger customer relationships and, in turn, better financial performance.

Engaged employees in a service oriented business will make your company different from your competition. And different is better than better in this highly competitive and globalized economy.

So many studies have already confirmed the positive effect of having highly engaged people that I don’t even want to get started here.

Theoretically, this virtuous cycle looks great.

However, as Yogi Berra knew: “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.”

So, how do we get the actual practice closer to that theory?

How do we drive higher employee engagement day in, day out?

 

The Employee-Engagement-Booster Formula

In this Age of Purpose and Employee Experiences, there is a multitude of factors either boosting or deflating employee engagement levels.

Let me attempt to funnel all those factors into a simple Employee-Engagement-Booster Formula:

My company informs me of – and inspires me with – the overall mission and vision of the company.

+

My company seeks my feedback – continuously.

+

My company genuinely cares about me and provides me with training, tools, and rewards.

=

Higher Employee Engagement

So simple, right?

Wrong, because half of the equation is how the company could increase the employee’s engagement.

The other half is pertaining to how people could increase their own engagement.

Forgetting the second half is the biggest mistake we make in employee engagement!

Without those true engines of business – the people – we only have a

Potentially Higher Employee Engagement

Let’s add to the formula the most important factor in employee engagement – the person who is doing the work.

YOU.

Wherever you may be located within the company.

You do have the opportunity to take responsibility for your own life and to do your best to build your own engagement – regardless of what your company is doing.

It is always your choice.

Here YOU go

Potentially Higher Employee Engagement

+

I am committed to the overall mission of my company and I fully understand my role towards that mission. I know my purpose. It is meaningful and worthwhile to me.  I am convinced that I am doing the right thing.

+

I choose to provide constructive feedback on what works and what doesn’t. I choose to participate in employee-driven improvement processes. And I choose to share my expertise to enhance collaboration.

+

I proactively make use of training courses and tools provided to improve my competencies.

=

Higher Employee Engagement

So far, so good. Let’s not stop there. Let’s make the engagement last.

Higher Employee Engagement

+

The organization and I are both keen to have a sense of our progress in achieving our goals towards our vision.

+

We both enjoy embracing challenges, and appreciate timely recognition and celebration of milestones.

+

We both believe in trust– and fun-based collaboration where feedback is built into the culture.

+

Together we have no fear of making honest mistakes.

=

Sustainably Higher Employee Engagement

 

Intrinsic Motivation – a strong predictor of retention

Revisiting the above components reveals that most of them are to a lesser degree based on extrinsic rewards but more on intrinsic motivational factors, like those psychological rewards that we get from doing meaningful work and performing it well.

Those rewards that create a warm fuzzy feeling close to our heart, resulting in an emotional commitment to our company and its goals.

The above components further prove that employee engagement cannot be viewed as a series of loosely connected events. It should be viewed as an ongoing process. A process that includes everybody in the

It should be viewed as an ongoing process. A process that includes everybody in the organization.

And to get there, communication is extremely critical, because it forms the backbone for all other engagement efforts.

There is no such thing as too much communication.  At least I have not heard of any case where a departing employee gave as

At least I have not heard of any case where a departing employee gave as reason for leaving “There is way too much communication going on in this organization”.

The key is to create a system of regular two-way communication – with a schedule of consistent communication touch points and a feedback-loop to measure engagement levels in real time.

Incidentally, the words information and communication are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.

 

How to connect the unconnected?

So, how does one get through to everybody in an organization?

How does one connect with everybody? Especially when the organization has a highly mobile, non-desk bound, non-email account workforce.

Since most people have already gone digital–they might even have been born with mobile apps, they live so much on social media–the internal communication strategy should go that way too.

Employers should see it as their moral obligation to provide a mobile communication platform on which they can interact very similarly within their job. This is an important puzzle piece in humanizing the workplace.

Because the environment an employer creates for employees tells them what the leaders think of them.

 

Not every change is an improvement, but every improvement is necessarily a change.

A proven best-practice option is to change the way you communicate in your organization and to utilize digital technology.

The BeekeeperTM Mobile Phone Application, for example, creates a transparent and open mobile environment where people can educate, support and inspire each other.

It bridges communication gaps between people and possibilities in a secure environment.

Some of BeekeeperTM’s features:

  • Peer-to-Peer Messaging (no email or phone number exchange required)
  • Employee Mobile Surveys (Pulse Surveys) to gather structured feedback from the front line
  • Share success stories and foster employee recognition and appreciation in a social environment
  • Two-way communication to drive innovation and gather industry / competitor insights on the go
  • Analytics Dashboard provides a closed feedback loop to measure and fine-tune engagement activities
  • Automate communication processes like onboarding of new team members
  • Digest Emails to stay informed about the ‘hot topics’ without getting distracted
  • Crisis communication – reach every single employee in an instant to keep everyone in the loop

Now, back to YOU:

You believe your organization is stuck in the analogue world and rather conservative in embracing digital innovations?

So what?

The measure of one’s life, according to many philosophies, whether religious or not, is how you treat other people while you are on this planet. None of those creeds includes the opt-out clause ‘except when you’re at work’.

Remember, no one enjoys hating his/her job.

Do something about it.

You are the master of your attitude.

It is our mission at BeekeeperTM to help you and every single user to be-a-keeper.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.