Employee Engagement Means Their Heart Is In It
When employees are truly engaged in their work, they are behind the effort one-hundred percent. For them, it is not just an intellectual pursuit…their hearts and emotions are dedicated to the effort too. And when heart and mind and commitment all come together in a business venture that can claim high employee engagement, the financial benefits are real…the organization is more productive, more innovative, more profitable and can boast both enviable retention rates and customer loyalty.
Our experience over two decades of working with clients who seek to improve their employee engagement has proven out our operating premise—we believe employee engagement can be improved or accelerated by focusing on four employee engagement drivers:
- Strategic Clarity
Strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing organizations. As a leader, you should be able to clearly articulate your organization’s purpose. And then in turn, every employee should be able to answer why they want to work for your company, why they believe in what they do and why they want to stay.
Their commitment to the company’s mission and values should be aligned with their own in a way that guides their behavior from day to day. This is where corporate culture (how work gets done) and talent management (your workforce strategy ) and the business strategy (the plan to realize the company vision) connect. These three pillars of excellent teams are inextricably interlinked and, only when aligned, can you achieve peak performance.
You will know you are headed in the right direction in terms of strategic clarity when your employees believe the organization will be successful in the future and know how they fit into the organization’s future plans.
- Opportunities to Grow
Top talent is always looking for new growth opportunities and career challenges. Your job as a leader is to provide those opportunities for development. Employees need to know that they are not stuck in a dead end job. To stay motivated, they want to be able to look at a future where they are stimulated and learning and continuously getting better at what they do. And don’t think just of growing in one direction. The best employees appreciate growth in functional areas outside their expertise and the chance to work on critical project teams.
We all look for the equivalent of gold stars on our report card. Employees, too, want to be appreciated and recognized for excellence. The reward does not necessarily need to be monetary. Sometimes a simple public thank you for a job well done is sufficient. Just don’t ignore discretionary effort…the work put forth when employees extend themselves beyond what is required, not for their own sake but for the same of the company.
You will know you are headed in the right direction in terms of employee appreciation when your employees believe:
- the organization makes investments to make them more successful
- the leaders of the organization value people as their most important resource
- they are paid fairly considering the value they bring
- the leaders are committed to making it a great place to work
- Trusted and Respected Leaders
Studies have shown over and over that employees leave organizations most often because of poor managers. Bad managers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are abusive, some lack basic management skills, some just don’t care and some betray trust. Instead, good leaders know how to communicate, plan, delegate, inspire, make sound decisions, model company values, and respect their colleagues. These leaders listen to their team members, respond with compassion and know how to solve problems. This is the way they earn their workers’ trust and loyalty.
You will know you are headed in the right direction in terms of leadership trust and respect when your employees trust their leaders to set the right course and lead the company to future success in addition to believing the leaders are honest and trustworthy and demonstrate integrity.
To boost employee engagement, focus on the four drivers above. When employee hearts and minds are willingly bent to the organization’s purpose, your company can thrive.
To learn more about employee engagement best practices, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways To Boost Employee Engagement