Employee engagement is something that we hear about on a regular basis. In fact, we hear about it often enough that it can sound like just another buzzword. Yet, it’s anything but. The lack of employee engagement is estimated to result in $7 trillion in lost productivity worldwide on an annual basis (Gallup 2017). For nearly 20 years, Gallup has been researching employee engagement and the percentage of engaged employees has barely budged in the United States during this timeframe. Based on 2018 research, Gallup has reported that 34% of U.S. workers are engaged while globally, only 15% are engaged.
What is Employee Engagement?
What exactly is employee engagement? According to Gallup, an engaged employee is one who is “involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace”. Someone who is experiencing this type of engagement is most likely to be aligned with their team and organization’s goals and making key contributions to producing desired results. Organizations that do the best job of creating employee engagement achieve earnings-per-share growth greater than 4 times that of their competitors. Additionally, other business boosting results are enjoyed by those companies who exemplify employee engagement. These include higher customer engagement, increased productivity, lower attrition, and higher profitability.
A Simple Approach
There are a multitude of methods available for increasing employee engagement with varying ranges of complexity, time commitment and cost. Yet, the solution may be simpler than you think. When we talk about employee engagement, we often speak in generalities. It can sound as if there is a group called “employees” that we must direct something towards collectively. A one size fits all approach has less of an opportunity to positively drive your engagement levels than one simple opportunity that many leaders have, at every level, including the C-suite. This opportunity, the key to engaging employees, is to get specific about each person.
One Employee at a Time
Engaging employees happens one person at a time. The place to start is to get to know each person on your team uniquely. How much do you already know about each employee and what makes that person tick?
How many of these questions can you answer right now about each employee on your team?
- What are their career aspirations?
- What personal aspirations do they have?
- What motivates them?
- What are their most important values?
- What key strengths do they bring to the team?
- What type of behavioral style do they favor?
- What professional development needs do they have?
Call to Action
If you can’t answer all of these questions for each employee, I invite you to make it a priority to schedule 1:1 meetings to discover those answers. Then, look for the opportunities to:
- let them use their strengths each day,
- take on assignments that build the skills for their future career path,
- communicate with them in a way that matches their style.
Your employees want to work in jobs that allow them to do what they do best, to grow and develop professionally, and feel a sense of purpose in what they focus on each day. What drives engagement and motivation is unique to each individual. So, get started by getting to know your team. Look for ways to align what is important to each person with the work they are doing, and watch your results begin to shift.
If you would like support in increasing employee engagement in your organization, please contact me to have a conversation. We offer a simple yet powerful and practical methodology to support you in improving employee engagement.
About the Author: Sherry Dutra is a Talent Development, Career and Retirement Coach and Facilitator who believes we each have far more potential than we typically tap in to. She helps you learn how to step into your full potential so you can create consistent, optimal performance for yourself and your team with less stress and more enjoyment. If you would like to uncover and address hidden challenges that may be sabotaging your success, leverage your strengths, and accelerate your progress toward the results you desire, contact Sherry for a complimentary consultation.