Employee Engagement – Management Role
Knowing whether employees are engaged or disengaged is only the first step. You also need to be able to act on the results. You need to understand the key drivers of engagement and disengagement, you need to be able to plan activities or initiatives that will have the greatest impact on increasing engagement.
The elements that drive engagement are usually similar across most companies, but the specific concerns and level of importance are unique and specific in every company and even in different demographic subgroups within a company.
We employ two techniques that enable you to identify the key drivers of engagement in your company and to understand what to focus on and how to improve in those areas.
- Priority Level − We look at the statistical patterns across all groups in your organization to determine which items are impacting overall engagement within each demographic group. Items with low scores that are strongly linked to engagement are the areas where you will want to focus your change initiatives and engagement strategy.
- Virtual Focus Groups − Next, we ask targeted follow-up questions at the end of the survey that ask employees to provide examples of problems as well as suggestions for how to improve. Once you have identified an area that needs improvement, you can turn to the comments where you will often find detailed information that provides the specific ‘What’, ‘Why’ and ‘How’, so you can act on it.
The Importance of Senior Managers
A committed senior management and board is not just essential for the daily running of a business and the formulation of achievable goals and a good strategy, but it is also necessary for high engagement, commitment and trust. The foundations of a successful company start at the top.
The multinational study found that when employees have confidence in senior management and the board, they are nine times more likely to be engaged and committed. Alongside this, when employees trust senior management, they also trust that they will be treated fairly and with respect. The consequence of such trust is that employees can put their energy into their work and mutual trust and respect between employer and employee grows.
What Makes Exceptional Senior Managers?
Senior managers have an enormous role to play in the employees’ engagement and commitment. Senior managers have the following three traits common in them −
Trait 1 – Listen to the Employees − One advantage for senior managers listening to the employees is that they know what is going on inside the organization and on the shop floor. Listening to employees keeps them connected. An additional benefit is that employees also feel more appreciated if they know senior managers listen to them and take them seriously.
An essential component to enabling a two-way channel between senior managers and employees is ample opportunity to provide tips and suggestions. The offshoot of providing feedback opportunities is the creation of a win-win situation – engagement and commitment increases, and organizations receive new and innovative ideas.
Trait 2 – Connecting with Employees − The added benefit of senior management staying connected with employees is that trust, effort, engagement and commitment increases. Far too often however, we see multinationals adopting an Ivory Tower Management Style. Senior management spends little to no time at the lower levels of the organization, and invests minimal effort in connecting with employees. Decisions are made with sole input from the top level, whilst the lower levels feel the effect of such decisions.
When witnessing such behavior, we ask one critical question: How can you make good business decisions if, at the bottom level, you have little connection with your employees and don’t know what is going on?
Trait 3 – Organizational Visions and Goals − Clarity about intended goals helps the employees make better day-to-day decisions at work. Employees know what the collective objective is and they can therefore adapt their contribution to it accordingly. The additional advantage is that efficiency between employees is improved and less time and resources are needed on issues that do not have any bearing on the aspirations of multinationals.