Seven Ways to Guarantee Employee Engagement

What do you do to help engage your disengaged employees?  Did you know that the Gallup Poll in August 2009, shows that only 33% of employees are engaged in their jobs.  What are the other 67% doing?  What can you do to have more of your emoployees work with passion and be more involved in their job?  Facts show that employee engagement brings in more customers, and more money!  Some ways I’ve found that are effective, and suggestions I received from employees at various client sites:

1.  Mentors Feel Valued. Aligning senior employees who have a wealth of knowledge and experience with newer employees to familiarize new-hires with the company system serves to make the senior employee feel valued.  At the same time, the newer/younger employee may provide a renewed outlook on workplace life.

 2. Raise the Bar. A fundamental way to engage employees to take the initiative to be more engaged is to have managers actively hold them to a higher performance standard. However, the first step is to engage the manager who allows the senior or any employee to perform just well enough to get by.

 3. Plan for Performance. With input from the senior employee, set firm deadlines for completion of specific assignments and goals. Make sure the employee understands that failure to meet the deadlines may result in termination before retirement. Have the employee track his/her own progress and report on a weekly or monthly basis. Managers and supervisors should use a coaching and feedback model with periodic review of goal attainment for all employees beyond their self-reporting. If the employee refuses to attain the established goals and submit reports, the manager or supervisor must follow through with terminating the employee for at least three reasons: disengaged employees are expensive to retain; their slack attitude spreads among the team like a disease; and at this point, the manager’s course of action sets precedence for other employees.

 4. Rah! Rah! Team.  Remind employees they are still part of a team and the bigger picture.  They are needed, and their actions and behavior affect the workplace around them. This ensures the company is doing more than giving “lip service” to the word “team.”  Create an environment where the employees’ can be open and vulnerable so their actions will be supported by other members and only constructive criticism is given.  Team membership involves more than just a one-time activity – it must be ongoing and include everyone.

 5. Find the SPARK!  If you have senior employees, ask them would would bring them  joy in their work?  What sparked them toward the job in the first place? Chances are the senior employee has worked at the organization longer than you, the manager/supervisor. Ask them about the “old days.”

  • What was the organization like? 
  • What was it like to work there? 
  • What did they like about the organization, the job, and the people?

6.  ASK!  Ask the employee what you can do or what can be done to help them be more engaged in their work.  Enlist the Gallup-12 Questions (How Do You Feel About Your Work?). Although trying to ascertain how the senior employee really feels about his or her work, survey all employees. Then conduct a focus group meeting with employees from different generations and ask them to give three or four recommendations on how employees (not only seniors) can become more engaged at work. Listen closely to what seniors and the other generations suggest. It is important to follow-up on the recommendations and apply what is relevant.

 7. Look at the Organization as a Whole.  Does the organization enlist the Gallup 12 Questions:  How Do You Feel About Your Work?  Do the employees feel appreciated and valued by their managers and are they contributing to the organization’s mission? Self-worth predominates employee engagement–primarily feeling appreciated and valued.

  • How do employees know whether they are appreciated and valued?
  • How is communication handled and what is communicated?
  • How is the communication received?

Of course, there is some probability that the employee simply does not or will not fit the position or organization. In those cases, transfer to a position in which the employee fits or termination may be the logical action to take for the welfare of the employee and the organization.

Magnify Your Performance! ®


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