Imagine simplifying the complicated, costly, and often convoluted processes that the ‘Customer Experts’ tell us will improve our employee engagement?
The experts might cite behavioural changes as being much more difficult to tackle than simpler (?) employee issues like timekeeping. And company owners or bosses will naturally want to keep the balance across the team to continue service or product delivery for clients – sometimes it’s “better the devil you know” or “don’t rock the boat” – even if you have people among the team who are at worst, disruptive, or at least, not completely engaged with the business purpose.
Understandably, it feels tough to tackle this when you feel you are working at flat-out speed already and the thought of potential confrontation with some of the team gets pushed until it’s “a better time”. But there is never a “better time” is there?
So how do you start improving your employee engagement in a structured way…?
Here are our FOUR employee engagement pillars to help you boost your employee engagement. We think these are key principles that should be reviewed closely, regularly and honestly – way before you start any awkward conversations or disciplinary processes.
Pillar ONE: Strategic vision
Great leaders ALWAYS provide strategic vision. The components of strategic vision exemplify the state of the business as it is now, where it’s going and what underpins the business character
Vision: Mission: Values: We’ve all come across these three terms at some time in our professional lives –and possibly one or two might play a big part in your personal life. But what’s the difference between mission/vision/values?
Vision – identifying the best possible version of the business – it’s the where you want to be – possibly also the when
Mission – the what & why – your purpose – your business reason for existence
Values – the how & who – it’s the character, behaviour, and ways of working that your business will stand by, be known for and measure performance against as you work together toward your vision
These 3 aspects form your empowering leadership message or strategic vision. They allow everyone in the business to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing and how their daily life contributes to the whole.
Ask yourself, how often do you talk about this -how well do the team understand it?
Pillar TWO: Engaging leaders
Managers, leaders, supervisors – people who lead others have various titles. What binds the great ones together though, is that their orientation and focus is always on their people first. Managing others’ performance and delivery through coaching and mentoring, giving people scope to bring their true selves into the business and treating everyone as individuals are skills that can be learned – and when demonstrated with integrity, really encourage the best performance and output from everyone.
How compelling are the leaders you have looking after your most expensive resource – your people? Is your strategic vision being eroded or diluted because your leaders are not engaged themselves or don’t exemplify the vision when leading their teams?
Pillar THREE: The voice of the employee
This is one of the cornerstones of great engagement within any business. Your people often have most of the solutions to challenging business issues, so listening, asking for internal advice, and acting based on the feedback makes perfect sense. This simple aspect is also the key to strengthening trust between leaders and teams and opens channels for people to see how they can contribute to the business in ways other than their daily role. Insight, engagement surveys, feedback sessions, one-to-one capture – there are so many ways to do this – so ask yourself – “How many times do I ask my team what, how or when?”.
Pillar FOUR: Business integrity
Simply – acting and doing what you say you’re going to do. Do you have a gap between what you said you would do because of employee feedback for example, and what you actually did? Even if plans must change, keeping open honest and dialogue based on promises made, promises kept or a good reason why not is a foundational engagement building block.
There is no process involved here – these FOUR pillars can and should be demonstrated simultaneously, but if you realise that none of the above are strengths, then we’d always suggest you tackle Pillar ONE first. Your strategic vision is the underlying message that supports the other 3 engagement principles.