Improving Employee Engagement

Improving Employee Engagement

September 17, 2014

Improving Employee Engagement – This Isn’t Hard People!

Employee Engagement – What Is The Trend?
It is beyond me as to why business owners even list a lack of employee engagement as one of their top challenges or if it’s a top challenge then why it isn’t one of the first challenges to be tackled. According to SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), the decline in engagement started tracking at elevated levels in 2009 and are continuing to rise at a steady pace. Small to medium sized organizations are not experiencing this trend as drastically as large organizations (large = 2,500+ employees).sleeping

Let’s see: If you are a company who has cut jobs, cut employee benefits, cut back your resources in general over the past 5 years but did not cut back your priorities, and you view your employees as assets, then guess what?.. you likely have this as a challenge.
You can call these folks assets, associates, employees, or whatever you want to, however, I call them people. If you are going to have a business and employ people, then treat them like people. This isn’t rocket science. Do you put 110% into each one of those relationships? If you do not, then do not expect them to put in 110% of their effort into your business. People are loyal and dedicated to organizations, who have leaders that are loyal and dedicated to them.

“Dictators ride to and fro on tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.” – Winston Churchill

Employee Engagement – What Are The Top 10 Factors?
1. Job security
2. Opportunities to use skills and abilities
3. Organizations financial stability
4. Compensation
5. Benefits
6. Communication between employees and senior management
7. The work itself
8. Autonomy and independence
9. Management’s recognition of employee performance
10. Feeling safe at work

For additional details on each factor and the critical elements to improve your engagement, you can find a full report here:
Top Engagement Factors

“All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: It was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This and not much else is the essence of leadership.” – John Kenneth Galbraith

Employee Engagement – Who Does It Best?
When it comes to “best”, I like to look for trends and repeat winners. What this tells me is that an organization has longevity in treating their employees well and that it is part of their company culture through thick and thin (economic climates).

Here are some of the repeat organizations:
McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, Apple, CareerBuilder, Chevron, General Mills, Google, MITRE, National Instruments, & Qualcomm

For a full list of the top places to work and why they are ranked so high, check out the Forbes rankings for this year:

Forbes 2013 Top 50 Best Places To Work

Employee Engagement – What Can You Do About It?
You may not be the policy setter in your organization nor even be able to significantly impact an entire organization immediately, but you can make an impact on your own team whether you are an official leader or an individual contributor.

1. Be Fun -find a way to infuse fun into your atmosphere (it will rub off on others)
2. Be interested instead of interesting – this just means ask your team questions about themselves. Dive in and really get to know them through personal and professional questions. Don’t offer up anything unless they ask you a question that allows for you to share something about you.
3. Remind people why they matter – just one or two comments from time to time that remind people why theyHappyEmployee matter, lifts spirits and helps elevate confidence.

It isn’t a super secret recipe. It is all about being truly interested in every person you interact with and believing they add value to your life…sometimes you have to dig really deep and work very hard at finding it, but if you look and you ask, you will find their value. This is all assuming you’ve put the right people with the right mindset in your life and on your team.

For the record, I am not an HR professional nor do I have a degree in human resource management, however, I am an expert, because I am human and I have successfully managed “resources”. Fortunately, I have successful lead people which is a much more enjoyable career than managing resources.

For additional information, team building and engagement activities, please feel free to contact me at