Employee Engagement: Monday Morning Percolator #27
The last Monday Morning Percolator outlined 7 organizational inputs to foster employee engagement. This post will outline the key inputs into employee engagement from leaders and managers within the organization.
Engage yourself. Before you can foster or enhance the engagement of employees, never lose sight that you are one of those employees. Keep a focus on your own levels of employee engagement as you also champion engagement for others.
Hold engaging conversations. Avoid making employee engagement an announcement or policy. Ensure your employee engagement has a grass roots conversational quality to it. Talk with your employees. Doc Searls talking about conversational marketing stated: conversations are about talking, not announcing. They’re about listening, not surveying. They’re about paying attention, not getting attention. In many ways, employee engagement is less about what you put in and more about what you draw out of employees.
Be strong and strengthen others. Employees who work from their strengths and have work designed around their strengths are more engaged. As leaders, we must also talk with people about their strengths. There are many pathways to strengths. Click here to read my strength based leadership articles if you would like to learn more.
Apply the simple and significant. I am passionate about employee engagement and believe it makes a huge difference for all in the workplace and I recognize how many things the average leader must attend to. It is not my intention to make employee engagement an imposition in an already overcrowded day. I encourage you to find the simplest yet most significant thing you can do to advance employee engagement.
Engage the clutch. My experience with the majority of leaders in organizations is that they respond to the full slate of demands with an excess of engagement and hours worked. We must regularly engage the clutch and go to neutral. Engaged leaders also find time for rest, recovery, and renewal. The path to full engagement also involves periods of disengagement — our walk to the desert for renewal.
Contact David Zinger if you would like more information.
Picture Credit: Desert Leaders by http://flickr.com/photos/hamed/327939900/
Employee engagement cannot work effectively when it is an organizational imposition.
I strongly encourage you to read the article: Employee Engagement from the blog, Yearning Mice on Fire: Random Ravings From the Midnight Hours.
Here are some of Dee’s words:
Employee engagement. It is the latest and greatest corporate buzz phrase, at least for the corporation I work for. But what does it mean?
If you ask the company it is a quotient based on what an employee says about the corporation, their strivings to do for the company, and whether the employees are staying with the company over the long-term or not. If you ask the employee, especially the ones who have been deemed “not engaged”, it is the level of abuse you are willing to put up with for the salary and benefits you receive.
Just like the abusive parent who sits at the table with the liquor and smokes while moaning that their children just don’t love them, the corporation’s board of directors spends a great deal of time wondering where it all went wrong. Surveys are done and staff meetings are called to go over the results. The presenter always says the same thing, “We just don’t know why you’re not engaged.” Anyone who tries to explain it to them is quickly shut up and shuffled out the door.
You’ve probably guessed by now that I am “not engaged” at work. It’s hard to care about the corporation when the corporation has made it clear that they don’t care about you. Programs put into place to benefit the employee are used instead to control and manipulate them. Incentives are used to create tension and discord between employees. The contract is interpreted and re-interpreted constantly until very few of us are even sure what the words mean anymore. Information in place to be used by all employees is instead withheld and/ or requests for information are instead funnelled to your manager who berates and threatens you. Pride in a job well done has been twisted to mean that we must give 150% effort in 50% of the time and for 30% of the costs.
I encourage you to read the full post by Dee and determine how you would respond to her if you were a leader in the organization she talked about.
By the way, I believe this is much more than just one person’s perspective on employee engagement – I believe that many employees feel this way.
David Zinger specializes in employee engagement.
Email David at firstname.lastname@example.org
Employee Engagement: Monday Morning Percolator #25
There are a plethora of methods and approaches to fostering and enhancing employee engagement. Actions can be launched by individuals, leaders, and organizations. When all 3 are working together we move beyond simple employee engagement to workplace engagement with engagement for all!
Yet, the workplace of today is asking more and more from everyone with less and less time to stop and determine what to do and how to do it. If we are given too many things to do we may give up or avoid them simply because we are overwhelmed and there are too many things to do already. It can be a challenge simply to remember to focus on employee engagement.
I recommend a 2 x 2 x 2 design structure:
- What are 2 actions organizations can take to enhance employee engagement?
- What are 2 actions leaders can take to enhance employee engagement?
- What are 2 actions individuals can take to enhance employee engagement?
When everyone is taking action and working together we move beyond employee engagement to workplace engagement with engagement for all. You also get the multiplier effect as 2 x 2 x 2 = 8. The multiplier effect from a systems perspective means: changes in one field of human activity (subsystem) sometimes act to promote changes in other fields (subsystems) and in turn act on the original subsystem itself. This becomes full workplace engagement when we are seeing actions from leaders, employees, and the organization.
In the next 3 Monday Morning Percolators I will outline the actions of each of these groups. In the interim I encourage you to think about what are the 2 most powerful actions you can perform to create high levels of engagement.
Picture Credit: 2 x 2 x 2 = fun by http://flickr.com/photos/bofh/30900799/
Employee Engagement: Monday Morning Percolator #24
How do you create a breakthrough to achieve fuller employee engagement for yourself and the people you work with? Often we feel stuck or disengaged. We want a breakthrough. But we are not sure how to proceed or even get started.
Lisa Haneberg offers a solution in her book: Two Weeks to a Breakthrough.
Lisa moves beyond simplistic pop psychology or self-management and offers a very practical and explicit method to get fully engaged.
She recommends taking 2 weeks to create the breakthrough and gives you guidance each day on how to proceed. The daily practice is the key to move beyond dreaming of change and breakthroughs to zooming towards your goal.
Each day is configured slightly differently but the practice consists of 3 fundamental components:
- Share your goal with others
- Take action that support your goal
- Make request that will help you move towards your goal
Share-Action-Request makes our breakthrough method public, tangible, and connected. I know one of the first times I tried this method I let the sharing part of the method slip. I thought I could just do it on my own. I now realize how important this was to create what I call an accountability allies – others who will both support and challenge me on my work.
Here is a short outline on the approach if you are a leader striving towards creating more engagement in your workplace:
- You will get specific about what you are trying to achieve.
- You will be talking with many people about your plans and actions to foster fuller employee engagement.
- You will be taking multiple actions to increase engagement.
- You will be requesting help – full employee engagement can not be achieved on your own.
- You can monitor the progress and results.
One thing I love about Two Weeks to a Breakthrough is how short it is. If you did not get the results you hoped for you can start again with a fresh two weeks and use what you learned from the last breakthrough approach to ensure more success.
Fostering high levels of employee engagement will be both a service and a contribution you make to your employees and the organization.
How about it? What are you planning to do for the next 2 weeks? I hope you make a break for full employee engagement.
- Read Lisa’s book: Two Weeks to a Breakthrough.
- Visit and engage in Lisa’s breakthrough blog.
- Learn from your own experience, apply the method and monitor results.
Employee Engagement: Monday Morning Percolator #23
Do you hear what I hear?
Who are you listening to in relationship to employee engagement? You can listen to the work of management consultants or university professors but I encourage you to go to the source. Listen to the people in your family and workplace.
Here are 4 snippets I heard this week from family and friends in regards to employee engagement. I did not ask for any of these statements they simply came up in our conversations.
From my 15 year old son who washes dishes for a restaurant in Winnipeg
I really like working with that guy. We have fun, we don’t take it too seriously but we get the job done.
From a health care manager talking about a management colleague
She knows so much but she is letting the management of her staff get to her and treating them in a way that is creating more conflict rather than increased engagement. I worked in that unit and I had to make some unpopular decision but I kept informing the staff, letting them know the rationale, telling them how tough this was, and at the end they were even thanking me even though I had to ask so much extra from them.
From a real estate manager
I have a new direct report. He is good but I have to keep watching how I treat him. It took me a year to find him and I don’t want to have to look for someone else.
From my fifteen year old daughter at the end of 3 weeks of volunteer work with autistic children
I have learned so much from those children. They are so interesting and do such neat things. It is funny and a challenge but I love working with them.
- If you really want to learn about grass roots employee engagement listen to the people in your family, social circles, and workplace every day. How engaged are they? What factors influence their engagement?
- Listen to their perspective and determine how you can apply the learning to yourself or with other people at work.
Employees’ direct relationships with their bosses are one of the most important factors in fostering employee engagement. But what if the boss is bad, and that boss is you?
Joseph Libertia has written a fine short post on how to overcome Bad Boss syndrome with emotional intelligence. He cites the common statement that people don’t leave organizations, they leave leaders. Bad bosses are not always jerks or worse. Joseph listed some of the reasons for being a bad boss:
- Have a lot on your plate
- Are under pressure to perform
- May be in over your head
- Don’t know a better way
- Are scared
- Fight to stay in control
- Have you identity and value attached to the results you produce
- Don’t get the support you need
Joseph Liberti offers 5 solid suggestions on how to apply emotional intelligence to forge better relationships with your employees. He writes,
Solicit people’s feelings and just listen. A leader I once had as a coaching client started by simply asking, genuinely, “And how do you feel about that?” in conversations with direct reports about current issues. and improved relationships. You don’t have to fix them. Just hear them!
Go to Emotional Intelligence at Work to read Joseph’s other suggestions. While you are there, I encourage you to read more articles from his blog by clicking here.
Employee Engagement: Monday Morning Percolator #19
Have you thought about how the world and work is changing and what this means to employees, leaders and organizations who want to foster and maintain high levels of employee engagement?
I encourage you to view these 67 slides on change – shiftHappens:
After viewing the slides what are you thoughts and ideas about fostering employee engagement?
Here are a few of my thoughts:
- Maybe being one in a million is not such a big thing.
- How unique are we and how much do we experience a sense of entitlement?
- How do we keep people engaged as they work in so many different jobs over their careers?
- We need to look beyond Canada and the United States to see what is going on. We need to look beyond today to know how to respond. We can look at history to notice that the landscape of work has changed. Are we open to changing approaches to employee engagement? For example, when you look at how engaged people are with text messaging are you creating a method to make use of this medium to enhance employee engagement?
- 50% of the workforce has worked for their company for less than 5 years. What does this mean for commitment and engagement?
- Are you visiting one of the largest countries —- MySpace?
- Looking at another type of engagement: 1 in 8 couples married last year in the United States met online. What are your methods to meet online with employees to foster employee and workplace engagement.
Now that you have focused on shiftHappens, how are you going to apply it to employee engagement?
As things keep shifting we need good questions much more than ready made answers.