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 #26
To achieve full levels of employee engagement, efforts must come from organizations, leaders, and employees. This issue of the Monday Morning Percolator will outline 7 actions organizations can take to foster higher levels of employee engagement.
- Assess and remove any roadblocks or hurdles to employee engagement. Ask employees what could be removed or lessened to increase their level of engagement with the organization.
- Create a culture where employee engagement is valued, discussed, shared, and lived. Employee engagement needs to be both recognized and appreciated.
- Ensure that the top leaders within the organization are committed to employee engagement, engaged themselves, and they are willing and committed to investing organizational resources into the engagement initiatives.
- Move beyond measuring employee engagement to taking action on those measures. Attend to your metrics but focus on your people.
- Help employees see the benefit of employee engagement for themselves and their customers. Don’t let your engagement initiatives become organizational manipulations to merely squeeze out more productivity and discretionary effort from employees.
- Study your highly engaged employees to determine the vital behaviors they perform that contribute to their high level of engagement. Once those behaviors are determined work at spreading those behaviors to other people within the organization. Strive to make employee engagement a viral phenomenon for the organization.
- Educate leaders and managers within the organization on how to foster employee engagement and help leaders understand and leverage their key role in employee engagement efforts.
The next Monday Morning Percolator will be: How leaders can contribute to employee engagement.
Contact David Zinger to learn more about employee engagement.
Picture Credit: Chicago from Above by http://flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/409484853/
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/
I just read Tony Quinlan’s post on engagement at his blog parum intelligendo.
I appreciated his perspective:
I’ve come to the realisation that engagement is the new version of loyalty. It’s a down-graded version of loyalty, and one riddled with the same basic flaw.
He asks a very important question:
while our organisations are very keen to ensure our people are engaged, how engaged is the organisation with our people?
I agree with him that engagement is a two-way street and not just something to be pulled out of employees.
The common term has become employee engagement but I am leaning more towards the term workplace engagement that might capture the responsibility for engagement residing within the organization, employees, and leaders. Engagement would also be a function of the relationships between all three.
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.
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 #20
This is the week with July 4th in the United States and Canada Day, on July 1, in Canada. Many people, especially with children, use July to start their summer holidays and students have a long “time out” from school. I hope you have or had a good time on your holiday.
This leads into the post for today – the importance of time out or disengagement to enhance engagement.
Employee engagement is not a 24/7 way of being. Our engagement levels should fluctuate during the day, during the week, and during the year. Our energy levels change, the demands of work increase and decrease, and relationships at work can also fluctuate. Our rest and recovery can fuel our performance and give us a much needed perspective on our direction.
Do you consciously disengage to foster higher levels of engagement?
Much like a time out during a basketball game where the players huddle to get ready for the next few plays we must also consciously disengage from work to strategize for more efficient and effective performance. We need to pause or come to a complete stop to determine our next step.
- Take time to savor and smell the coffee.
- Turn your phone or blackberry off for parts of the day. Do you really need to be available 24/7?
- Don’t bring work home with you – physically or mentally.
- Engage in an activity that takes your mind completely off of work — from playing with children to even playing basketball.
- After every 60 to 90 minutes of work take a few minutes to stand up, stretch, or walk around the office.
Foster more powerful employee engagement by making the effort to also consciously disengage from work. As Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote: you can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf.
Picture Credit: time out by http://flickr.com/photos/matthijs/528662489/