Employee Engagement. What does it mean? What should I be paying attention to as a leader? Am I able to measure it, and if so, what am I measuring? What is this elusive, magical quality?
Simply stated, employee engagement measures the discretionary effort employees are willing to put in. It is the key to productivity, retention, and other KPIs such as customer satisfaction, workplace injury/safety, and absenteeism. We assert that it has a tangible impact on your company’s ability to deliver on its strategic initiatives and the key results you’ve worked hard to define.
One of the easiest ways to think about employee engagement and its impact on your ability to deliver on your strategic initiatives is to think about four key areas:
1. Job Fit
Becoming proficient at hiring and specifically understanding whether or not someone is a good fit for the job or the company in the first place is the most prominent force of disengagement. Are you using science and data to give you an edge in matching the right people for every role in your company?
2. Poor Management
Do your managers have the right skills to manage and develop their employees and have they been given a platform to develop those skills? Yesterday’s news is the golden rule of treating others as you would have done to you. We are called as leaders to create our self-awareness and understand what our employees genuinely need in the workplace.
The Silicon Valley start-up approach of ping pong tables, kegs of beer, bean bag chairs, and bringing your dog to work daily is not a good fit for all companies. Are those things really what define your culture? Is your leadership team equipped to create and exemplify an inspiring corporate culture? Is there a disconnect between your company, its values, the culture, and your team members? How do we know?
4. Team Conflict
We are all wired differently, which means we have different motivating needs and behaviors that show up in the workplace as in life. Do you find your time spent as a referee or mitigating counselor disagreements among co-workers or direct reports? Are your teams well aligned to their specific goals or objectives, or is there a disconnect among team members through poor communication, the way people take action, or even the way they make decisions?