Are you engaged? No, I’m not talking about the type of engagement that’s usually depicted by a shiny ring. Instead, I’m referring to those shiny strategic plans that typically cite employee engagement.
What, I wonder, does the term mean in your office? We know that talking and executing are two different things. So, this weekend, I’m asking you to consider what employee engagement means to you and your colleagues – and to offer an assessment of how your own organisation is doing on this front.
What does engagement look like?
In a post for Forbes last month, Bernard Coleman III wrote about developing a blueprint for employee engagement. He suggested, unsurprisingly, that organisations can increase employee engagement by knowing their employees. He said that this means properly assessing what motivates employees. Another step? Give employees a voice in how their work environment is shaped, and then acknowledge those voices and opinions.
Next, says Coleman, we bring in the metrics. You need to articulate values that can be measured when it comes to effective engagement. This includes identifying realistic, actionable outcomes.
Employee Engagement on the Decline
In a June 2017 Forbes post, Ryan Scott noted concerns about declining employee engagement levels. He reported on Aon Hewitt’s 2017 Trends in Global Employee Engagement Report, which surveyed five million employees from a thousand firms. Only 24% of those interviewed reported being highly engaged, and 39% reported being moderately engaged. Consider just what that says about the remaining 35% of those five million people, and you can imagine that HR teams have some serious challenges ahead of them.
Among the identified factors? First, global populism is said to be creating anxiety within organisations. Next, according to Aon Hewitt’s global culture & engagement practice leader, there’s the high rate of technological advances, which is seen as increasingly threatening to peoples’ job security.
Yet others suggest that Aretha Franklin had it right. Yale psychologist Dr. Paul Marciano has written books on employee engagement and creating strong teams, all based on the principle of respect.
Rather than focusing on carrots (reward and recognition programs) or sticks, Marciano advocates building respect for one’s organisation. His RESPECT model involves Recognition, Empowerment, Supportive feedback, Partnering, Expectations, Consideration and Trust.
Does that sound like your workplace? All this, of course, leads to my latest Weekend Poll:
What does employee engagement look like in your organisation?