Knowing What Drives Engagement

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Employee engagement doesn’t just happen. If it did, you wouldn’t be reading this. Again and again, research shows that specific factors are involved when members of a workforce feel a logical and emotional connection to their organization and are committed to giving 100 percent every day. Let’s take time to explore the drivers of employee engagement.

- Organizational vision: When senior leadership has developed a strong vision of what it wants the organization to be, what it values, and where it wants to go, employees are excited to be a part of it. People want to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves. Employees feel engaged when they understand and support the goals, values, and mandate of the organization, and when they know how they can contribute to realizing the overall vision.

- Senior leadership: When employees trust senior leaders and feel confident in their ability to guide the organization toward its goals, they do a better job of supporting them. If senior leaders act merely as figureheads, they’re missing a valuable opportunity to connect with staff. An organization in which senior leaders demonstrate they care about employees and ask for – and use - employee feedback is actively engaging its workforce.

- Immediate management: Managers are usually the first point of contact for employees when they have questions or need assistance, direction, or mentoring. When employees have positive relationships and open communication with their managers, they feel supported in their work and can perform at their best.

- Professional growth: Even a career that starts off challenging and fulfilling can grow stale after a few years. When employees reach a point where they stop developing or where no advancement opportunities exist, they start to look for work elsewhere. Employees want the chance to grow with their organization, to keep getting better, and to expand their skills.

- Communications: Employees want the information they need to do their jobs. When an organization has poor communication channels, staff members can end up feeling left in the dark, like outsiders in their own organization. When employees are kept informed, they feel like a part of the team and they know how to tailor their work to help the organization reach its goals.

- Teamwork: In most organizations, from small to large, people work in teams to set objectives, perform daily tasks, and complete projects. Just like in sports, one player can’t score all the points. When employees have good relationships with coworkers and have clearly defined roles, they not only have a better working experience but also perform better.

- Innovation: An organization whose culture encourages and supports continual improvement makes it easier for employees to bring forward ideas, to use their creativity and problem-solving skills, and to be proud of new developments and improvements that happen in the organization.

- Customer/client focus: People want to please. Organizations that enable front-line staff to provide great customer service are giving employees an important foundation to engage, which helps them meet their performance goals.

- Work environment: Work environment is about more than just the physical environment. It’s also about the tools, information, and resources employees need to do their jobs well. When organizations create a supportive atmosphere, employees feel more engaged in the organization.

- Performance feedback: You can’t get better if you don’t know how you’re doing in the first place. Employees don’t want constant cheerleaders, but they do want constructive feedback on their performance. Employees who don’t get any feedback can feel overlooked and undervalued, even if they’re doing a great job.

- Work/life balance: Organizations that recognize that people are happier and healthier when they have balance in their lives – and that actively support this – put their employees in the best positions to be star performers. And employees appreciate knowing that their employer acknowledges they have lives outside of work.

- Compensation: When employees feel that they are fairly compensated for the work that they do, they’re more likely to stay at the job and be loyal to the employer. Feeling that they’re not getting fair remuneration is a good reason to look for another job.

To learn more about how to leverage employee engagement, get your FREE copy of the go-to resource on the topic, “Employee Engagement for Dummies”, or start the engagement process at your organization by contacting Sean Fitzpatrick at sfitzpatrick@talentmap.com or 613-248-3417, ext. 501.

About the Author:

As President and founder of TalentMap, Sean Fitzpatrick has helped many leading public and private sector organizations maximize engagement and boost productivity through TalentMap’s integrated employee feedback system.

TalentMap offers ‘off the shelf’ and ‘custom-designed’ employee engagement solutions that foster continual improvement within your organization.

For information on placing a sponsored article on OBJ.ca, please contact Terry Tyo at 613-238-1818, ext. 268

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