Employee Engagement: One Size Does Not Fit All
Employee engagement has always mattered. Organizations with strong operating cultures point to high levels of active participation and engagement as key factors in their enduring success. This has taken on even greater importance during the “post pandemic” phase as businesses large and small struggle to find the right combination of “work from home” versus bringing everyone back to the workplace.
If employee engagement is so important, there must be several tried- and-true methods for bringing about a successful company-wide outcome. In my work with management teams, one enduring challenge they face is how to build a more engaged workforce. They brainstorm and come up with all manner of programs, activities, and inducements (remember “casual Fridays”?). Predictably, some of these resonate with some employees some of the time. Others shrug, viewing these as superficial, perfunctory attempts to engender their loyalty.
While there are company-wide policies and procedures that can help, the best approach for actively engaging employees is to focus on the unique requirements and preferences of each individual. To do this, managers need two things: Data and training.
Among the best tools for understanding what matters most to each individual team member is Harrison Assessments’ Employee Expectations and Engagement Report. This easy to complete assessment points to specific expectations the employee has based on their unique preferences and the extent to which these expectations are currently being met in the workplace.
The report focuses on eight specific expectations: Development (will I learn, grow and be considered for promotion here), Remuneration (how important is it that I be compensated competitively), Authority (the extent to which I can direct my work and the work of others), Social (will I have an opportunity to create friendships here), Appreciation (how will my contributions be recognized), Communications (what information will be shared with me and how frequently), Personal (will I have a leader I trust and respect), and Work-Life Balance (how will I be expected to balance the stress of work and the demands of my personal/home life).
While it is quite natural to assume that all of these expectations matter to employees, the fact is that some matter to a great extent, some to a moderate extent and some matter very little, if at all. There are not inherently right or wrong answers here but there are important differences in the value individual employees place on these items. No wonder company-wide initiatives are met with limited effectiveness.
Armed with the specific, personalized data the Expectation and Engagement Report provides, managers can now have a high-impact, meaningful discussion with each team member and, working together, develop a plan to close any gaps that may (and likely will) exist.
For more information on how you can provide your management team with this important tool, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.