April 2016 

Get Engaged

What does it take to increase employee engagement that’s real and sustainable?  

I’ve been working recently with leaders in several organizations who are looking to increase the level of engagement in their teams.  Hmmm… and who isn’t these days?

The Dreaded Annual Survey

I'm starting to hate the word “engagement” because of the stigma attached with the annual engagement surveys that focus primarily on general quantitative scores, rather than on identifying the underlying issues to be explored much more regularly.  At best, these surveys provide very general directional information.  At worst, they can measure the wrong factors. 

Does every company define engagement in the same way?  Not in my experience.  I think about how money spent on these surveys could be put to better use with more targeted, small group focus meetings, or scheduled time for leaders to spend communicating with their teams.

Companies that conduct an annual engagement survey generally require specific action plans to be identified by the leaders, which are rarely executed effectively if at all.  The creation of the 'action plan' is the primary focus, and the cycle repeats itself the following year with another survey, a new action plan and marginal results.

Focus on Real Engagement

If you're concerned with low engagement, begin with a clear vision of what real engagement might look like in your company or team.  While engagement surveys generally do indicate specific scores around job satisfaction, they don't help leaders understand exactly what the scores mean and how to address them.

Before spending money on an engagement survey… try talking with your teams first...either individually or in small groups, and start with questions like these:

  • What inspires you to come to work each day?
  • What things do your managers do to inspire you?
  • Do you understand how your work contributes to achieving the department and organizational goals?
  • Do you feel proud of this organization and what it contributes?
  • What does engagement mean in this team?  What does it look like when this team is fully engaged?
  • How do you think engagement contributes to achieving the organization’s goals?  
  • How do you keep yourself engaged in the work you do?
  • How can your managers support you further?

“Business and human endeavors are systems…we tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the system. And wonder why our deepest problems never get solved.” - Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization

Are you achieving the results you want?
The best leaders make simple shifts or practical changes for big results.  I work closely with leaders to create practical solutions to achieve real success. Let me help you discover what's possible. Visit my website www.terrihughes.com for details.

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