John was with his company for a little over two years. He was one of the senior management reporting directly to the CEO and Chairman. He was very soon expected to take over as CEO and Chairman. However, John was frustrated and has been mulling over leaving the firm to pursue other opportunities. John had joined this firm with a lot of expectations in terms of the vision he saw for this company. This was the second firm in his 15 year career so far.
Employee engagement has become a key word and an area of focus within organizations more so from the point view of retention. What is employee engagement? Employee engagement is the emotional commitment that a person has to their organization.
What is the Key to Employee Engagement
12 questions for Employee Engagement
1) Do you know what is expected of you at work?
2) Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right?
3) At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
4) In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?
5) Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?
6) Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
7) At work, do your opinions seem to count?
8) Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important?
9) Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work?
10) Do you have a best friend at work?
11) In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress?
12) In the last year, have you had opportunities to learn and grow?
Key questions to ask to retain good people
Please refer this LINK
In John’s case, he had always surpassed what was expected of him, he was also a strong candidate tipped to become the next CEO and Chairman. But yet he wanted to leave.
The key question here is was he ever asked by the CEO and Chairman How can I, and the company, help you fulfill your career goals and your vision ?
Whenever you have changed organizations ask yourself what is that you lacked the most. Was it just a promotion and salary hike or one or all of the following
- Appreciation – As leaders it is key to deliver the recognition in a manner that the employee is comfortable. Just saying “Hey good job” delivered in a no care attitude hardly does the job. Recognition and appreciation has to be specific (with referral to what was done well and the efforts that they put in) and timely.
- You Matter – being appreciated, recognized and made to feel You Matter is a continuous process rather than a onetime event. A true leader realizes that it is important to create and maintain such an environment. It is about them and not about you or your achievements.
- Larger goal – engagement is high when what we do is linked to a larger vision or purpose. True meaning is achieved when we can connect to something bigger than us.
- Tone – delivery of words of praise has to be meaningful and sincere. Tone in which the message is communicated matters most.
- Clarity – you have to be clear and focused in what you liked the most and how it contributed to the overall vision of the company or goal of the project. Sandwiching too many compliments makes the feedback confusing. The Sandwich Approach also undermines your message.
No one is perfect and we all learn from mistakes. While correcting the employee for their mistake the following should never be done
- Public humiliation – none of us like to be embarrassed in front of our team. Even when circumstances warrant you to correct someone amongst a group, the way the message is delivered is important.
- Not walking your talk – you need to spend time with your team. You need to deliver on your word. Motivation is badly affected when you as a leader don’t lead by example.
- People skills – communication of the goals, developments, changes in management structure is imperative. Employee engagement will be low when you keep your employees second guessing. Many employees learn from media as to what is going on within their company rather than from their managers.
John was recognized for his performance but the communication lines had broken down. The company changed its vision which was never directly communicated to him, the ‘why’ was never answered and ‘what’ he was hired for was forgotten along the way. Bottom line of career management is to align right people to right position, doing the right thing = operational performance + productivity + profit.
Employee engagement is a three-way process and requires responsibility, accountability and ownership from the employer, the employees and the organization.