I've been reading and hearing a lot about employee engagement recently. It pleases me to see so much attention focused on what I've long believed to be an important factor in an organization's success. One article I read from 2014 in Forbes discussed the issue of what employee engagement really is. Gallup shared an article in April, 2015 on Manager engagement. Recently, there have been a flood of posts on LinkedIn about the topic. So, what is it, is it important to your business, and how do you make it happen?
So, what is employee engagement? Businessdictionary.com defines it as: Emotional connection an employee feels toward his or her employment organization, which tends to influence his or her behaviors and level of effort in work related activities. The more engagement an employee has with his or her company, the more effort they put forth.
I concur. Whether or not your employees are engaged has a significant impact on your organization's success. Survey after survey has proven this. I've even experienced being both an engaged and a disengaged employee. I know first hand how much more I care and produce for a company with which I feel a connection. When I'm engaged, I WANT to do my best work for my organization. By the same token, when disengaged, I clearly felt myself slipping into the apathetic realm. It's not a great place to be and I didn't stay there long.
So, how do you make it happen in your organization? One way I've worked with organizations to improve employee engagement is through action learning. The process of action learning is deceptively simple. There are just two rules: 1) You can only make a statement in response to a question and 2) The action learning coach has the authority to intervene for learning and process interventions. When brought together to resolve a problem, this process fosters sharing of ideas among ALL members of the team, creating more innovative solutions that evolve from the collective wisdom of the team. Through this, members develop trust among each other, respect and value are increased, and the successful and creative solutions that result create a shared sense of accomplishment. This is a real experience, solving a real problem with real solutions. No team-building exercise or role-play situation can energize a group better. And, when employees share this kind of success and see their ideas come to light, their engagement skyrockets. Give it a try. You'll see amazing results!
Andrea's passion is to see you achieve your professional dreams. Whether you are a corporate leader seeking leadership development for your employees or an individual seeking guidance in building your career or preparing for retirement, she will coach you to success.