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: 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 #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 #21
At the turn of this century, the Campbell Soup Company’s employee engagement was not “mmm mmm good.” In addition, soup sales were stagnant and the stock was slumping. The executive wanted to assess employee engagement but many employees, including managers, did not want to complete the anonymous Gallup employee engagement questionnaire and when the results were in, Gallup told Douglas Conant, the CEO, that it was the worst level of employee engagement they had ever seen.
Douglas Conant now focuses as much on employee engagement as he does on soup, manufacturing facilities, and marketing efforts:
Every day, you’ve got to be making deposits in the emotional bank account of your company. When people do something right, you have to celebrate it, and then you have to celebrate it again. And if they do something wrong, you have to thoughtfully call them on it, because this isn’t a patronizing culture, it’s a performance culture.
Conant believes that lifetime loyalty is a thing of the past, but said that doesn’t worry the young people joining Campbell Soup today right out of college.
They are not looking for a job for life; they want meaningful experiences where they can do something special and contribute. It’s not about security. It’s about making a better world.
- Heat up performance and engagement for the benefit of employees and the organization by making the workplace a better place to be.
- Carefully craft the ingredients in your recipe to create chicken soup for the employee engagement soul? Make the cultural broth of your workplace performance based not patronizing or penalizing.
- Transform your organization so that employees are slurping up nourishing work and saying, “mmm, mmm, good” rather than cracking under too many demands, lack of meaning and trust, and an increasing sense of disconnection from the work and each other.
- Click here to read the New Jersey Star-Ledger article that inspired this post.
Photo Credit: Warhol @ Moma: Campbell Soup Series by http://flickr.com/photos/beberonline/207118541/
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.
Employee Engagement: Monday Morning Percolator #18
How about a short video with your Monday morning coffee?
Could you use a little help in getting higher levels of engagement at work? Does feedback trap you to the past and give you little idea about what to do next?
I encourage you to watch this 4 minute video of Marshall Goldsmith, one of the top leadership coaches, present on getting instant coaching. Not only will you get some coaching from Marshall he will show you how to solicit feedforward from others to move ahead. He has done this with thousand of participants in leadership coaching.
Marshall Goldsmith has such a caring and articulate way of presenting his top coaching concepts. Goldsmith adds some good rules to the exercise – such as let go of the past and develop ideas of the future without judging or critiquing the ideas.
You don’t get everything on this video but it is a start in understanding some of the contributions that Goldsmith makes that can make a difference in your level of work and employee engagement.
If you are intrigued by what you saw I encourage you to visit Goldsmith’s free library of resources. There are articles, videos, podcasts – a virtual plethora of resources you can use to develop your leadership, performance, and engagement.
A special thanks to Phil Gerbyshak for his ever watchful eye in spotting resources and helpful information to Make It Great!