According to a recent Hewitt study only 16 percent of those companies using engagement surveys see positive results. That means 84 percent, a striking majority, are wasting time, resources and money in their efforts. Engagement cannot be about a snapshot in time shown in survey results. Engagement is larger than a manager. Engagement is about your culture — a shared culture that is built and represented by everyone.
Most studies agree that the engagement level of employees has dropped over the last 5 to 10 years. Think about how much money has been spent on engagement initiatives such as engagement surveys, survey action planning and leadership training that did not produce lasting results. Think about the lost productivity, revenues and profits that result from unmotivated employees.
Many companies have found the results of their employee engagement efforts level off in a fairly short time or, worse, they lose ground. In fact, the very efforts many companies initiate seem to cause more damage than good. Why? Because they approach engagement as a managerial responsibility when in reality, to be most effective, it must be a shared responsibility of all employees. Engagement is not a project or event; it is about your culture.
When you create a culture of engaged, satisfied employees, you can increase loyalty and really bring out the best in each individual. Just as low morale touches every part of your business’s productivity, engaged employees will be your ticket to driving revenue growth, going after increased profits and improving customer service.
How do we make engagement everyone’s responsibility?
- Stop making engagement solely the manager’s responsibility. When a company places the responsibility for engagement mainly on the shoulders of direct supervisors they unwittingly create the demise of their efforts over time. What do quality efforts, customer service efforts, and branding strategies all have in common? They involve the entire company. Each person in each department affects all three of those efforts. The same holds true for engagement.All too often companies send a message (unintentionally but powerfully all the same) that the individual associate has no control, influence, or even effect on their own engagement or the engagement of others. When we develop values for our organizations we ask each individual to uphold those values. It is time we make the same commitment to engagement. Everyone has to have ownership and responsibility for their own level of engagement.
- Success is not found in an HR program. Employee engagement, if handled appropriately, has an enormous impact on the business. CEOs, presidents, and C-Level executives get involved in the brand, the numbers and the deals, but unfortunately, not enough of these executives get as deeply involved with their people. And they usually leave the employee engagement effort to the good folks in HR.It is sad to see some leaders so out of touch they must resort to going undercover on a television show to get to know their people and their own company. Many executives are too isolated and forget the reason the business they help run is successful—their people. If you think that’s not the case, go to the headquarters of many large companies and see where the executive team is located. Often they have separate floors, private entrances, their own washrooms, separate eating facilities and some even have separate buildings. For many executives, meeting employees and customers is a carefully orchestrated event. Sadly many executives do not understand that employee engagement is a business issue first and it starts at the top.
- Focus on the whole person. Employees and managers are not psychiatrists, but we need to understand that our employees suffer from stress, burnout, fear, problems outside of work, office politics and many other challenges. How these challenges are dealt with strengthens, or hinders, our ability to create relationships that have impact and can make the difference between success and failure. We need to become concerned with why associates become irritable, impatient, lack time for reflection or strategic thinking, or send text and email messages while having conversations. We can only engage if we are present, and we are only present when we focus on the whole person.
- Promote self efficacy. Self efficacy is the belief that you are capable of performing and attaining certain goals. It is the confidence that you have the capacity to produce certain results or a desired effect.What if our employees felt they had the influence, competence, and ability to achieve their work goals, realize their talents and passions, develop their career, and live a more productive and happy life? If their employer helped them cultivate just a few of those items, do you think they would be more productive? Would they stay with their employer longer?
Part of our focus at work should be learning about our colleagues’ talents and passions, building each other up, and creating bridges of support in our organizational community. This is even truer today with the availability of social networking and collaborative applications. Fostering confidence and the ability to see the opportunities we have, even during times of turmoil, is what sets us apart individually and collectively.
Making engagement everyone’s responsibility does not happen in the classroom, on a certain day, in a survey or in a board room. Making engagement everyone’s responsibility happens everywhere and all of the time. For employee engagement initiatives to be effective and long lasting they must be woven into the strategy of a company, part of the living culture, discussed in the hallways, and in team meetings, rallies, and huddles. They must be part of the customer strategy and woven into how relationships are built with customers.
Our challenge is to be in the group that realizes significant results from engagement efforts—in the 16 percent, not the 84 percent. One of the prime ways to do that is to make engagement everyone’s responsibility.
“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it,” said Viktor E. Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning.
If everyone’s task is unique then everyone must play a role in their own engagement.
Original post found at: Workplace Safety and HR