What’s Your Employee Engagement Objective?
No less a business icon than Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motors famously advised, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
What is the “always done” in your organization when it comes to engaging your employees in the day-to-day work?
When was the last time you considered what your objectives should be as related to inspiring your team toward greater engagement?’
If I haven’t yet grabbed your attention, if you’re rolling your eyes and muttering under your breath, “Here we go; more of that touch-feely stuff,” then let’s use an objective that will get your attention: INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY.
Study after study tells us unequivocally that an engaged workforce is a productive workforce. What do I mean when I say engaged? Employee Engagement is defined as the opportunity to use your creativity on a daily basis. When jobs become, “same old/same old” routines, employees quickly become disengaged and productivity drops. The drop may not be evident if you continue to successfully get the product out the door. Decreased productivity manifests in other ways:
- An increase in the amount of time it takes to get the same amount of product out the door
- More mistakes even though processes are the same (which is likely why there are more mistakes)
- General sloppiness – in the physical space, paperwork, and/or communication.
In order to define your Employee Engagement objectives, take a look at your stats. Where are the productivity leaks? How are you addressing them? And here is the most important question: what is your plan for getting your employees directly involved in addressing them? Believe me when I tell you they want to be asked. Depending on your culture and how far it has devolved, you may need to give them the opportunity to address these issues in some way other than a group meeting (who wants to stick their neck out in a group?). Here are some ideas:
- A survey conducted by an outside entity where they are guaranteed their responses will be confidential
- One-on-one meetings that are collaborative in nature, versus confrontational
- Use a fun, incredibly productive collaborative, team-building tool such as a World Cafe. I used this approach early in 2017 with a public sector group going through an upsetting amount of change. Their new Director was skeptical about his team opening up because he had trouble getting them to talk about these issues. Surprise, surprise! They came to life in the World Cafe and came up with incredible solutions to their issues. And the good news? Because these solutions were their ideas, they got implemented as agreed!
So what ARE your Employee Engagement objectives? Give it some thought. In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over till it’s over!”