7 Steps Towards Increasing Worldwide Employee Engagement Scores
Employee engagement – two words which will either delight or frustrate you. Two words which can and will be the difference between you and your competitors and two words which, whilst greatly understood, are often poorly applied in practice for a wide variety of reasons.
A recent Gallup studyfound that only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged in the work they do. What’s more, the study found that 24% of those employees polled are “actively disengaged, indicating they are unhappy and unproductive at work and liable to spread negativity to coworkers”.
As you’ll see from clicking on the link, in “rough numbers, this translates into 900 million not engaged and 340 million actively disengaged workers around the globe” and “just one in eight (employees) fully involved in and enthusiastic about their jobs”.
But why? When we know it’s so important…
I’d say that the predominant reason is that employee and organisational expectations are increasing. Put simply, we live in a world where we expect more for less. When you combine this with an insufficient improvement in the ability of many organisations to engage their people in any way other than financially – you have a recipe for engagement disaster.
As expectations grow and the demands on employees and organisations get even higher, the desire to push and demand performance (both ways) becomes even more intense and the requirements on our organisations to ‘pause’ and engage, whilst still moving forwards means that keeping engagement at the forefront of the mind is even more challenging, ironically when the ‘time’ to employ it is at it’s peak.
Employee self awareness….
In addition to the inability of many organisations to effectively capture the spirit of their people, many employees may have a sense or feeling of dissatisfaction in the work they do, but are often unaware of what truly and consciously drives them, which in turn means that they are unable to ask for, seek it or indeed definitively acknowledge when it is met.
In my experience, more needs to be done to increase understanding of what an engaging organisation looks, sounds and feels like and of what effective engagement is.
We need to increase belief in the value of engagement and how you actually do it; we can no longer just talk passionately about the concept or about the need to engage.
We need to ‘pin down’ in our organisations, what effective engagement for our employees is today and for tomorrow and train, coach, observe and give feedback on the effectiveness of our leaders doing it. A workshop where we talk about it, say we can do it and then hide in the shadows following it, is simply not cutting the mustard.
We need to change the mindset that engagement is all about being ‘fluffy’ and ‘nice’, to a recognition that engagement delivers ‘hard’ outcomes and is more than ‘just’ a ‘soft’ skill.
We need to embrace the importance of engagement as a way of life, rather than an annual survey, finding as many opportunities as possible, to connect ourselves and our people to our organisations, as human beings.
We need to build compelling organisations, ones with real purpose and strategy, designed to truly make a difference, where financial success is the outcome of compulsion, not in-spite of it.
We need to acknowledge that it takes time, practice and commitment to engage at a deeper level, so that we recognise the need to stop brushing engagement off as ‘easy’ and something we “already do”.
We need to spend more time raising our conscious awareness of what’s important to each and everyone of us. To do this, is not pointless navel gazing, it’s about ensuring that we can be engaged. If you know what motivates and drives you and your people you can begin to build a compelling purpose and identify strategies for engaging your people, in each and every conversation you have and every communication you make.
Engagement; start with yourself today…7 steps
In order to engage, you first need to know what engages you and how engaged you are by what you and your organisation do. Once you know this, you can begin to identify ways to increase your personal level of engagement and in turn that of others.
Here’s 7 steps to help you identify what drives, motivates and engages you.
Step 1) Grab an A4 sheet of plain paper and write “what is important to me in work?” at the top of the sheet.
Step 2) List as many answers as you can think of and then write even more.
Step 3) Group your answers together under words or phrases that really resonate with you.
Step 4) Rank your answers/groups based on least and most important to you.
Step 5) Look at and reflect on your top five. You now have a window into what drives, inspires and engages you most in work.
Step 6) On a scale of 0 – 10, where 10 is I’m getting as much of this met as I’d like and 0 is I’m getting none of this, rate your current level of satisfaction for each of your top 5.
Step 7) Ask yourself the following 5 questions, A – E:
A) What would being able to rate yourself one point higher, in each of your top 5, mean for you, your family and your organisation?
B) What would need to change in order for you to score each of your top 5 at least one point higher?
C) What could you do to bring that increase in score about?
D) What will you do to bring that increase in score about and by when?
E) What support or challenge would you benefit from in order to make the change you’ve identified?
Having completed this exercise, you should have begun to define with greater clarity, what ‘engages’ you and what you could do to increase your level of connectedness to your organisation.
The 7 steps also presents an opportunity for you to help your colleagues identify what drives and motivates them and is a wonderful platform for discussion with your people.
If you’d like me to work through these questions with you, for me to work with your people to help them (and you) identify what motivates and drives them, and how you can begin engage your people to an even greater degree, get in touch today – I’d love to help you.
Stefan Powell – Your Leadership Counsel
Tel: +44 (0) 77369 42382
Stefan Powell is Your Leadership Counsel and has been developing leaders, teams and organisational capability for change for well over a decade. Inspiring, committed and devoted to the success of his clients, he excels in working 1:1 with leaders and business owners to bring increases in performance, inspiration, clarity and focus to everything they do.
“Inspirational – easy, thorough and methodical to work with while also intuitive, imaginative, creative, incredibly flexible and very accommodating”. Wendy Stern – Chair of Action For Involvement – www.actionforinvolvement.org.uk