- Create massive emotional commitment among all your direct reports
- Turn your apathetic group into a high performance team exhibiting huge discretionary effort
- Be a leader who people fight to work with
- Win a “Best Place to Work” award within 12 months
Indeed, you can do all that and more, and it doesn’t take a lot of time or a big budget.
I should know…I’m a former Best Place to Work winner and I never had a big HR department, paid an outside consultant, or spent any money on tschotskes or other employee “rewards.”
The secret is in your behavior, and the in the actions of your down-line managers. But before we go any further, what the heck is employee engagement anyway?
Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.
When employees care—when they are engaged—
they use discretionary effort.
Companies with engaged workers have 6% higher net profit margins (Towers Perrin research) and five times higher shareholder returns (Kenexa research).
The ROI of engagement comes from what I call the Engagement-Profit Chain:
Engaged Employees lead to…
higher service, quality, and productivity, which leads to…
higher customer satisfaction, which leads to…
increased sales (from more repeat business and referrals), which leads to…
higher levels of profit, which leads to…
higher shareholder returns (i.e., stock price)
Based on my own experience as a serial entrepreneur leading “best place to work” teams, and on Kenexa’s research on over 10 million workers in 150 countries, there are three keys to driving engagement.
1) Growth and Development. Do your team members feel like they are learning new things and advancing their career?
2) Recognition & Appreciation. Do your team members feel appreciated and that their ideas count?
3) Trust & Confidence. Do your team members trust the leadership and have confidence in the organization’s future?
To remind myself of these three keys, I often repeat the mantra:
“GReaT leaders focus on Growth, Recognition and Trust.”
Lastly, you must create a rhythm of two-way communication. You need a schedule of consistent communication touch points that enable you to implement Growth, Recognition and Trust actions. In every organization I’ve led—from startups to non-profits—I use a consistent rhythm of daily quick huddles, weekly one-on-one’s and monthly full team meetings.
Since the release of my book We last year, the number one question I get from audiences is:
“How do we actually do this?
How do we create an engaged workforce on a daily basis?”
So I finally took the time to put it all down in writing. No fluff. Just a 60 page action guide for front-line managers and anyone that wants to immediately start increasing their employee engagement results.
If you would like dozens of ideas on how to specifically create a culture that fosters growth, recognition and trust, and if you’d like a detailed 8-week employee engagement implementation plan, I hope you’ll check out my new book
Some early readers wrote:
- “…a game changer for any leader or any size company looking to improve their employee engagement.” –Heidi Braun
- “I read it a week ago and am already implementing it.” –Steve Tyson
- “ A simple, direct, actionable tool kit for any manager who cares about his or her team and the success of the organization.” –Susan Hengel
- “Kevin doesn’t waste time with theory or research he simply shares what has worked for him over the years and offers six simple steps any manager can implement to increase employee engagement at work.” –K. Byler