Most of us understand that employee engagement is something we should all have—yet very few organizations do. In one survey of 500+ executives, 71% ranked employee engagement as very important to their organizational success—yet only 24% said their own employees are highly engaged.
Inspiring discretionary effort.
Do we really need it? And how can we get it?
In a nutshell, employee engagement is a measure of the discretionary effort employees are willing to put in. And it is the key to productivity, retention, and a whole host of other KPIs such as customer satisfaction, safety and absenteeism. So yes, we all need it.
Cultivating employee engagement in our organizations can feel impossible without the right tools, and that’s where many leaders throw up their hands. But engagement is within reach—if you have collected the right information about your employees and know how to use it properly.
One of the best ways to cultivate an engaged workforce is to build awareness. When employees and managers are aware of their natural behaviors and drives—and the behaviors and drives of the people they interact with—it encourages everyone to understand their role and work better together, creating those feelings of belonging and job fit that drive engagement and productivity.
Imagine that you’re right-handed and you’re told that you have to write a letter with your left hand. Now imagine that you’re told that’s what you have to do every day. Sounds exhausting, right? It’s what we refer to as “working out of preference,” and it’s what people experience when you have them in the wrong roles, ask them to do the wrong things, and have them reporting to people who don’t know what makes them tick. It’s a sure fire way to make employees check out.
Now imagine what it feels like when you’re in a job where the things you’re being asked to do motivate you, and you have a boss and colleagues that seem to really understand you. You and your job are a great fit. In that environment, people feel passion and energy for the job they do every day. They’re giving you their discretionary effort. They’re totally engaged. And employee productivity surges.
Whatever form development takes, the organization should make sure it’s meeting the needs of its employees and its managers. After all, employee development isn’t just a perk for the employee, it’s a perk for the company as a whole.
THRIVE ON YOUR OWN TERMS
Companies need to develop people faster, deepen their bench strength, and prepare leaders to lead a global workforce.