Tag Archives: drivers of employee engagement

Leadership, Engagement & Continuous Improvement

Leadership is getting people to want to do what needs to be done, and it provides the energy for change as well as the commitment to sustain it.

This aspect of leadership is critically-important if an organization hopes build and sustain culture of continuous improvement in which employees are truly engaged, and in which measurable improvement goals are achieved through people.

In a recent article published by Engagement Strategies Media, the connection between leadership and engagement was discussed.

“They’re connected because we can’t create the levels of engagement we would want and get all of the benefits we know can come from that without people leading…. we have to have someone leading us in the direction of this desirable goal of higher levels of engagement. They’re completely one hundred percent connected.”

The article goes on to explain that improving engagement scores requires intentional effort, and “most leaders, most organizations, aren’t placing a high enough priority on it to make that intentional.”

Thus a formalized, goal-oriented plan is a must… a concept that is presented in our “Engagement Around the Work” white paper.

Consider that people are much more likely to become engaged when they feel productive… when they feel like they are achieving success and that they are an important part of the organization’s success; when they feel that they have a voice in creating a better, more productive workplace.

By following proven Continuous Improvement methodology leaders and people at all levels can achieve measurable goals and higher levels of productivity; and this productivity leads to engagement.

Once leaders recognize that productivity leads to engagement, not the other way around, it becomes easier to allocate the necessary resources to sustain the Continuous Improvement effort. This means we must create a culture that is based on improving all that we do and which enables and empowers every employee at every level to make improvements through involvement and commitment — through being engaged!

Update on Engagement & Work

engagementproductivity2We have found that engagement and productivity are inextricably linked, but not in the way people tend to think!

As presented in our “Engagement Around the Work” white paper, people are much more likely to become engaged when they are productive… when they feel like they are achieving success, that they are part of the organization’s success, and that they are learning.

As it turns out, productivity leads to engagement, not the other way around; and this is a fundamental principle that clearly explains why so many organizations have had so much trouble engaging employees over the years – leaders were unaware of the things their employees really valued.

The dress-down Fridays, healthy snacks, and free lunches were nice, but they didn’t motivate people and they didn’t result in higher levels of engagement or productivity.

Only recently has it become clear to forward-thinking business leaders that the path to sustainable employee engagement is to drive productivity, and to do so through ongoing education and empowerment.

In support of this perspective, a recent article in Human Resource Executive magazine identified the four key things that college graduates value the most as they evaluate career options:

  • Flexibility and work/life balance
  • Continuous learning opportunities
  • A socially-responsible employer
  • Room to grow and personal development

In that article, data from a PwC survey of 44,000 workers who had become less-engaged indicated that “71% said their jobs interfered with their personal lives, and 70% said they wanted to be able to work from home.”

Similarly, a September 16th letsgrowleaders.com blog post shared the plight and surprise of a call center leader who had tried everything to address poor morale – bagels, lunches, contests and games. In the end she was shocked to find, “They didn’t want more fun, incentives or even time off the phones. It all came down to one thing. They wanted us to take a hard stand on the slackers.”

“Letting slackers slide may seem like a short-cut to being likable,” author and Human Capital Consultant Karin Hurt said. “But such pleaser behaviors crush the spirit of those making the biggest impact on your team.” It’s apparent that those who want to be productive and successful do not want to work with those who don’t.

Also quoted in the post was Paul Rubenstein, a partner at Aon Hewitt who said that prospective employees “want to know about your commitment to lifelong learning and development.”