What Gets Measured Gets Done!

Having started with the stark contrast between happy employees, satisfied employees, and engaged employees, then looking at the real impact employee engagement can have on our organization’s bottom line before we began working through these strategies we can put in place to earn that kind of engagement, let put a nice bow on it by looking one final thing that has to be in place for any of it to matter - and all too often IS NOT even considered as it related to building engagement within our teams!

In all the years I worked in a manufacturing facility, it seemed like we tracked EVERYTHING! We had to document all the details of the first and last piece we ran for each order, we recorded any scrap produced in the set up process, and we logged the total number of parts we completed before sending them to the next step in the operation or to the warehouse. And most of those metrics needed to be added to multiple forms, not the least of which was a daily time sheet.

On a quarterly...

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We Invest in What We Value

Before jumping into the next employee engagement strategy that can make a significant difference as we work toward getting everyone in the boat to pick up their oars and actually ROW, I need to share a quick point tied to what we looked at last time

In talking about this idea of employee engagement with some friends recently, they mentioned a book by Patrick Lencioni on the topic, The Truth About Employee Engagement. Wanting to dive in right away, I went to my Audible account as soon as I got to my car and purchased what looked like the cover they had shown me. I ended up with The Three Signs of a Miserable Job, which was actually the same content but released by Lencioni nearly a decade prior. But let’s be honest, when employees aren’t engaged, it’s nearly always because they’re experiencing some level of misery in their job! The sign he explained that tied directly to what we looked at with regards to clarifying the impact our team members have on...

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Employee Engagement Strategies

If you’re still on the fence as to whether or not employee engagement has a real financial impact on your business, or even your department within a business, take one more look at just the low numbers I shared recently… Now it’s time to dig into some things we can each do to start earning engagement from the team members we’re leading!

I don’t care what your title is, you owe it to each person on your team to provide them with clarity about why the work they’re doing matters - who it serves, how it serves them, and why it’s important. Gosh, there are times where I need to do that same thing for Cindy - and she certainly does that for me. 

I can’t think of anyone I’ve ever worked with who’s been willing to give a task everything they have without believing it would make a difference. Without a sense of purpose, why would any of us go the extra mile? But with a clear understanding of how the work I’m doing each...

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Whose Job Is It Anyway?

Think back to the comment I shared recently that a fellow had made on a LinkedIn article I published, “most CEOs continue to sit on the sidelines and let HR wack away at the problem.” All too often, employee engagement - and anything that’s done within an organization to address it - falls squarely in the lap of the human resources folks. But if employee engagement really does have the financial impact detailed in the Harvard Business Review article I referenced last time, why would any business owner, CEO, or manager at any level not be working to improve engagement in their organizations with their every waking breath? 

I believe that’s easy to answer… I think the majority of the operations folks who see statistics cited by HBR look at the numbers briefly but don’t take the time to process the real financial impact each can have on the organization’s bottom line. 

Before we look at exactly who should assume complete...

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Consider the Numbers...

Now that we have a foundation for what employee engagement looks like - meaning a clear picture of the types of behaviors we should be seeing from our engaged employees - let’s work through why it even matters and how engagement really does impact our bottom line. Just in case we’re not on the same page yet, I’ll share the analogy I heard years ago that helped me understand how varying levels of engagement impacted a workforce…

Imagine being one of ten people in a boat. Not a boat with a motor, a boat where each of us have to row. Now imagine we’re tasked with rowing upstream (because I’ve never seen a business be successful over the long haul by just riding the current downstream). We’re rowing our hearts out to reach our goal, giving it everything we’ve got! After a while, you happen to look around the boat and realize that only three of us are actually rowing. The five folks in the middle of the boat are at least holding their oars...

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Why is Employee Engagement Important?

Having made a case for why it may not serve us all that well to focus only on ensuring our employees’ happiness or satisfaction, and working to actually engage them ties more directly to the results we need to achieve, we should probably take the time to define employee engagement before diving into why it’s so important…

I recently shared an article on LinkedIn comparing these three phrases and received a comment soon after from someone stating that all of them are almost always fuzzy initiatives driven by someone in human resources that never yield tangible results because the “most CEOs continue to sit on the sidelines and let HR wack away at the problem.” As a recovering human resource professional myself, I tend to agree with his comment IF an organization approaches employee engagement solely as a human resources initiative. Quite honestly, that’s exactly why we don’t… While we certainly work to include the human resources team...

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Establish a Meaningful Connection With...

I closed last time by sharing a definition but not the word it was tied to… If you’re to play along with Jeopardy, maybe you’ve already figured it out - but did you phrase it in the form of a question???

We started out by looking at two ideas that are suggested frequently as what employers should be paying attention to if they want to be effective at retaining their best team members; employee happiness and employee satisfaction. While I’m certainly not suggesting that leaving the folks in our organizations unhappy or unsatisfied will ever give us what we’re working for, I don’t believe either of those things necessarily helps us reach the levels of productivity - and in turn, profitability - that we really need or our teams are truly capable of. And that’s why I introduced the idea of “pledging or entering into a contract to DO something” as a critical differentiating factor!

Another definition of that same word is to...

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More than a Snickers Can Deliver...

In the late 1980’s, the tagline in the Snickers candy bar commercials was “Snickers really satisfies you!” If that holds true today and we’re not getting the results we need from making our employees happy, maybe a Snickers bar will get the job done? If only, right…?

Having just challenged the idea that employee happiness might not necessarily yield what we really need in our organizations, let’s consider what would seem to provide us with more tangible results; employee satisfaction…

I recently read an article on Forbes.com called The Five Fundamentals of Employee Satisfaction that shared “if employees like what they’re doing, they put in more effort. When they put in more effort, they’re more likely to succeed and be more satisfied.” If we go back to my example of the employee who’s happy because they haven’t been held accountable for doing anything productive in the last five years, they could very...

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