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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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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