Skip the usual New Year’s weight loss and fitness resolutions. Make 2015 the year you improve employee engagement. While it’s nice to revisit weight loss, fitness, and wellness goals, few things can have a more profound impact on your business than improved employee engagement.
The shift between A) a satisfied employee (happy and content) and B) an engaged employee (emotionally committed) can be summed up in these questions:
- What can the organization do for me?
- What can I do for the organization?
If you are like me, you want employees who ask question 2. Imagine … in the first quarter 2015 your satisfied employees become engaged. In the second quarter your complacent employees become satisfied and then engaged. Throughout the year, your disengaged and disinterested employees move on. All of this starts with a 2015 employee engagement action plan.
The principles you find in weight management programs – establishing a baseline, targets, regular reinforcement, discipline, exercise, a community effort, coach or champion, and defined progress points all apply to employee engagement as well.
Here are a few things to consider as you develop your 2015 engagement strategy:
Use employee surveys or focus groups to establish your employee engagement baseline.
How engaged are your employees now? Do they intend to stay with your organization? Would they recommend your company to other professionals? Do they know how their work fits into the big picture and do they feel like their work matters?
Surveys can be easily administered. Consider also the benefit of comparative data – see how your firm compares to other businesses inside and outside your industry.
Define employee engagement for your firm
What does employee engagement look like at your organization?
Learn from other companies. Visit organizations identified as great places to work. What are these companies doing that sets them apart?
Company-specific examples I’ve seen include:
- Reinforcing creative problem solving at every level
- Believing that profitability will improve if employees are taken care of because they will take care of customers
- Improving results and performance through leadership development
- Implementation of a customer 10 Foot Rule: if a customer comes within 10 feet of you stop what you are doing and take care of him
- Creating an environment where employees want to solve problems
Hold managers accountable for employee engagement and not just business results
Take steps to ensure they know what employee engagement can do for your firm.
Provide the training they need to be coaches and leaders.
Celebrate and reward individual engagement and improved organizational performance over time
Research shows that employees feel more engaged when they can make decisions, have contact with customers, and are involved with the execution of business strategies. Having a strong brand, trust of senior management, and especially immediate supervisors are key to successful employee engagement initiatives.
Whether you are an employer or an employee – resolve to be more engaged in 2015. Everyone around you will benefit including your customers. What will you do to improve your engagement in 2015?