Working for a large consultancy has its merits; certainly being one of the top 6 companies in the world is something to boast about. The fact that for the most part as long as you do your job there is always work, however l believe that engagement is a large issue within the company. Franz (2013) states that she read a definition of employee engagement that defines it as “the emotional connection or commitment that an employee has to the organization that then causes the employee to want to put forth the additional effort to ensure the organization and the brand succeed.” In my opinion, this definition work well in describing what engagement should feel like.
The Temkin Group (2012) in their current report define what they call the five I’s of employee engagement. These are Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve and Incent, large companies are going to need to look at each of these areas and create strategies to help increase employee engagement. There have been a number of studies that have looked at employee engagement, and the news is better according to Temkin Group as stated in Chief Learning Officer(2013) that of 200 companies with 1000 or more employees, most do engagement surveys (94%), however only 43% of the respondents believe that the leadership of their organizations put any priorities based on that feedback. What this suggests to me is that large companies talk the talk about engagement, but almost 60% do not walk the walk.
As a manager we need to take a hard look at what we are doing in our organization, are we creating and fostering an environment that creates engagement. The issue I often seen over the last 30 years of work is that managers are not trained in employee engagement. I always like to state that Management by Walking Around is a great technique to observe staff in a casual informal manner. Once we get managers off their chairs and out there with the employees, we need to start asking the hard questions to determine how the engagement levels are in our departments or teams.
Here is a list of 12 questions you can ask yourself about your employees, be honest and up front with yourself and see how you might answer them.
- Do your employees know what is expected of them at work?
- Do your employees have everything they need to do the work right?
- Do your employees have the opportunity to do what they do best every day?
- During the last seven days I have given recognition or praise for a good job?
- As a manager do you care about your employees and take an interest?
- Do you encourage employee development?
- Do your employees feel comfortable voicing their opinions?
- Do the employees understand the mission or the purpose of the company and understand how they add value?
- Are all your employees committed to doing quality work?
- Do your employees have an opportunity for social interaction throughout the day?
- Do you sit down with your employees and talk about how they are progressing?
- Do you give employees the opportunity for growth and progress within the company through training and educations programs?
These questions are very important; if you cannot answer with a positive answer to these questions you may have an engagement issue in your work place. Lack of engagement within your team, can have many negative effects not only to your department or team but to the organization itself. Look for the signs, are your employees absent more often than in the past, have you noticed employees taking longer breaks or lunches, Do employees come in late and leave early, is productivity down, is your employee turnover higher than industry averages, is expenses going up while revenues are stagnating or decreasing. Any one of these could be an indicator of poor employee engagement.
The good news is that employee engagement can be turned around. Clear strategies from leadership, HR programs for feedback cycles, training and career planning as well as getting our mangers to manage the people will all go a long way to helping employee engagement. With the high costs of recruitment and training can large businesses and organizations continually afford to recruit and train new employees in the workplace? It is time to break the cycle and engage our staff and organization now, or find your business/organiztion behind the marketplace playing catch up to those 40% of the businesses that do care.
Chief Learning Officer (2013) ‘Weak Employee Engagement Affects Six out of Ten Large Firms’[Online]. Available at: http://clomedia.com/articles/view/weak-employee-engagement-affect-six-out-of-ten-large-firms (Accessed: October 5, 2013)
Franz, A.(2013) ‘Employee Engagement Stratgy? Nay! Leadership Strategy!’ [Online Blog]. CX Journey 31 May. Available at: http://clomedia.com/articles/view/weak-employee-engagement-affect-six-out-of-ten-large-firms (Accessed: October 5, 2013)
Temkin Group (2012) ‘The Five I’s of Employee Engagement’ [Online]. Available at: http://www.temkingroup.com/research-reports/the-five-is-of-employee-engagement/ (Accessed: October 5, 2013)