Employee engagement. Everybody’s talking about it. Our friends over at The Henry Miller Group have a great infographic and a free report on the topic.
First: a link to their PDF download page. To quote from them:
There is clear, compelling, and mounting evidence that employee engagement is strongly correlated to beneficial individual, group. and corporate performance outcomes – including recruiting, retention, turnover, individual employee performance and productivity, service, and customer loyalty as well as to bottom-line results such as growth in operating margins, increased profitability, and revenue growth rates.
And here’s the graphic. Yes, it’s big. Scroll away, and read our comments at the bottom.
Yes, we know, employee engagement is a huge problem and a huge opportunity. We’ve covered it about a zillion times, from how it impacts retention of key employees to the role of perks in enticing workers.
Are the ten best practices suggested by The Henry Miller Group a series of good ideas? Absolutely. But it’s worth asking a more fundamental question. Why are almost all of us so disengaged in our work?
The reason, as we’ve said before, is that too many organizations simply don’t respect employees as people.
If you want to increase employee engagement, increase employee respect. Here are ten best practices for that:
- Focus on results, not control. Work is about getting things done, not about monitoring people because you assume they are slacking off.
- Listen to suggestions, and act. If you accept feedback but don’t use it, you teach people that it’s just lip service.
- Pay people competitively, but not defensively. If your salary strategy is based on keeping people from quitting, you are trying to get away with undercutting.
- Protect hard work, dismiss poor character. Jerks and bullies should never last long.
- Respect balance. Everyone has something to do besides work. The job is not more important than the lifestyle the job makes possible.
- Expect and encourage failure. Engaged employees should feel comfortable taking risks and learning from their own mistakes.
- Create real opportunity for growth. Invest in training, ensure there is a path to more leadership.
- Anticipate departure with grace. Everyone is a future ex-employee. Make sure they are a great ambassador for your firm.
- Discuss behavior, not attitude. People’s point of view on their own situation is not your concern.
- Provide affirmation and coaching. Let people know when they are doing well, and support them when they need to change.
In short, care about employees as people. Then, get out of their way and let them shine.