Building Employee Engagement - From the Inside Out
So much has been written about employee engagement - just about every HR journal and vendor newsletter continues to cover the topic. And for good reason. A recent Blessing White study reports that fewer than 1 in 3 employees worldwide are engaged. An Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) report lists engagement as one of the top 10 critical issues in 2010 and again in 2011. But we've noticed that most of the coverage focuses on what leadership and management need to do to raise the engagement level of their people, without much attention given to how employees might be able to "engage themselves".
Since 2007, Adaptiv has been studying the impact of employees' level of engagement on their resilience and job satisfaction. To date, we've surveyed about 6,000 individuals, from senior level individual contributors through mid-level management.
Our engagement survey focuses on why people stay with their employers, and we've identified 3 distinct levels of connection to the job: Level 1- pay & benefits; Level 2 - the work, the people, the company; and Level 3 - making a difference, the greater good. Our findings, while not surprising, are extremely clear: the greater the connection, the higher the resilience and job satisfaction.
But measurement is only the first part of the process. Building engagement is the crucial second part. Here are a few steps you can take to boost your own or your employees' connection, resilience and job satisfaction:
- Ask yourself why you stay with your company - be brutally honest. Write down each reason in detail. Determine whether you are connected mainly at a Level 1, 2, or 3.
- Ask yourself what are the things that get in the way of connecting at a higher level. Write them down.
- Come up with one way you can think differently, or one thing you can do differently, to boost your connection. Write it down and practice it daily.
- Reach out to a co-worker that seems more connected than you. Ask them to talk to you about how they connect and engage.
- If you're still having a tough time seeing how your work makes a difference: Go to your company's website, or Google your company's name. Spend a few minutes looking for things like customer testimonials, press releases and articles describing good things that the company is doing locally and beyond. Find a story that resonates and post it where you can see it every day.
Please let me know how these tips work for you. And if you have other ideas about how we can boost our own engagement, please let me hear from you!
All the best,