Friday, July 6, 2012

Engagement Lust

All leaders would agree employee engagement sounds terrific, but knowing how to begin acting on it isn't common knowledge. In fact, acknowledging action is needed is a success itself. Engagement along with innovation is an investment that should be treated with importance and should not be ignored when focused on the bottom line. As Bob Kelleher shares in his book 'Louder Than Words', how to engage is at issue, not whether to engage. Here are a few things to consider when beginning to take action:

Stay Interviews

Exit interviews are too late. What made them leave is not as valuable as what makes them stay. Understand what keeps your employees at your company and how that differentiates from competitors. Market those key differentiators.

Generational Differences

There is no one size fits all when trying to create an engagement program. Most are motivated by achievement over monetary incentive but Generation Y can be more motivated by flexibility. Know what makes the person tick, not what makes the group tick.

Invest in HR

Engagement is at its peak when starting a job. How to keep it there is on the traits that the employee composes. Make sure those traits match the traits that are outlined in your organization's values. More emphasis should be put on scanning for traits than on the resume.

The Right Role

An outstanding employee doesn't automatically make for an outstanding leader. Find ways to promote outstanding employees without making them a manager of people if they would not be good at it or want that responsibility. Learn what alternative options there could be for promotion by discussing what the employee would find motivating in a Stay Interview (noted above).

Too Damn Transparent

No one will complain about being over communicated to. Share with employees where the company is going, why it's going there, and how it's going to get there. Do this well and you should see employee referrals go up for new hires - be sure to track this measure, it is a good indication for how engaged your employees are.

This list will stop at five so we can focus doing a few steps very well before adding more. In all, why is this so important? Because your employees are the ones communicating your brand, making more impressions than any ad you may be spending millions of dollars on. Another quote to remember from Bob Kelleher, CEO of the Employee Engagement Group, "High profit business with low engagement scores is a mansion built on sand."