First came nap pods, then came Pawternity leave. Now we have well and truly entered the age of Employee Engagement.
What is Employee Engagement?
If you use LinkedIn as a yardstick for the state of office politics, it seems that the engagement & retention of staff is high on the agenda of managers across the industry. Everyone’s least favourite LinkedIn users Oleg & Bridgette steal content on the matter daily. So you know it must be important.
But if you are behind the curve on this one then we are here to fill in some of the blanks. If you know your stuff then feel free to skip ahead to the next section.
We've traced employee engagement back almost 30 years to William Kahn’s Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work. In the study, William calls it Personnel Engagement and defines it as:
“The harnessing of organisation members' selves to their work roles. In engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during role performances.”
4 Enablers of Success
There are several versions of this model. But, we found Engage for Success' ticking the right boxes for engagement in the workplace.
Strategic Narrative - This comes from the leadership team of a business; the structure of the culture and what employees can & can’t expect from the organisation.
Important because everybody loves boundaries in life. Once you have your expectations set from your employers, you can focus on your role. Knowing that the conditions of the workplace have been set in stone.
Uncertainty in the workplace can be a very disruptive force - and not the good type of disruptive - the kind where your mind wanders onto matters that aren’t productive to your role.
Engaging Managers - Well-engaged teams are generally led by well-mannered managers that consider the wants & needs of their staff. Engaging managers will make employees feel a part of the team. Setting clear objectives both individually and as a collective, as well as showing how someone’s work contributes to the wider organisation’s success.
Employee Voice - Giving employees a platform for them to speak their mind is critical in the progress of a business. Considering the views of those at all levels of the organisation is central to solving internal issues. Empathy is one of the more underrated skills in vertical communication in the hierarchy, on both sides of the argument. The leadership team should understand the struggles of the ‘shop floor’ employees and vice versa.
Engage for Success note this as the cheapest smoke alarm a business can install. It is an early warning system for issues that have the potential to snowball. Opening dialogue without prejudice can highlight problems staff are having when implementing processes. Allowing tweaks for improvements before a real problem occurs.
Organisational Integrity - The ‘say-do’ gap; the integrity of an organisation lies within its ability to action changes promised to employees. It can be very easy to promise the world to an employee that has just handed in their resignation. Ensure you keep these promises to avoid setting an unwanted precedent.