Employee Engagement with Impact
Quite a bit is written and said about the importance of employee engagement. Many such efforts are implemented but with modest or disappointing results. It can be better.
Evidence of this was found during a recent visit to a fast growing, highly successful company in the Midwest. It can seem counter-intuitive to suggest that focusing on the long-term career objectives of your employees can help engender their loyalty but that is exactly the result this organization has realized.
Here are some of the tactics they utilize to build a stronger sense of culture and commitment.
First, they train their supervisors and managers to hold regular meetings with their direct reports where they focus on how the work they are doing now is helping them build their professional portfolio for the future. These discussions underscore the importance of aligning the skills and knowledge team members are getting now with their career objectives moving forward. Ideally of course, their career goals will be fully realized within the company; but this is not a requirement nor is it the primary focus of the conversation. These meetings are not merely “nice to do” nor are they at the managers’ discretion. They are mandatory.
Second, internal career fairs are held on a regular basis. These help team members at all levels understand opportunities within the organization. Salary ranges for each open position are posted, eliminating much of the whispering and wondering about what different positions pay and how compensation may grow going forward.
Third, being a “learning organization” is not just a slogan. This philosophy is imbedded in much of what the business does to broaden the awareness, understanding, education and development of their people. Book groups are formed with shared time set aside for discussion. These can be books on any topic; history, biography, business, etc. They also organize “lunch & learn” sessions where they discuss fictional case studies presenting real-life business problems.
These ideas have been formed, implemented, tested, and revised over time to ensure they are right for this business and for their team members. Much of the feedback necessary for improvement has come from the employees themselves.
Building strong employee engagement is a sound strategy for any business. The tactics implemented however, must be a particular fit for your organization and its people. “Copy the strategy, not the tactic” is sound advice and is especially appropriate here.
For more ideas on building and improving your organization’s culture, contact me at email@example.com.
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.