What does it take for employees to feel engaged? Based on in-depth research involving millions of employees over the years, The Gallup polling organization identified 12 core elements of employee engagement that predict performance.
I wrote about this several years ago, and since then many companies, including industry leader Pfizer, Inc., have created global employee communities using the newest web technologies. Through internal networks, smart organizations are actively engaging with employees — and enabling them to engage with their peers — as part of a global team pulling together for the company.
The 12 Elements of Engagement
I know what is expected of me at work.
I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
My supervisors, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
There is someone at work who encourages my development.
At work, my opinions seem to count.
The mission or purpose of my organization makes me feel my job is important.
My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
I have a best friend at work.
In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
The Role of the CEO
CEOs don’t always walk the talk when they claim that employees are the company’s most important asset. If that were the case, employees wouldn’t be participating in social communities on the web to find what’s going on in the company. So here are several strategies to engage employees in support of the company’s goals through the company’s own communications network.
- Build a world-class, global employee communications function aligned with business strategies and goals to oversee the development of a culture of communication. Make the internal communications director part of the management team.
- Create a Champion Program to ensure that the CEO is the visible leader of communications with employees and to ensure that senior management embraces and lives employee engagement through appropriate rewards and incentives.
- Create communications processes that ensure two-way communications and that embed culture change throughout the company.
- Provide training, tools and support for managers, who are the key influencers and drivers of success (or failure) of the company’s plan. Nothing is more important than consistent communications between managers and their direct reports.
- Put in place measurement systems that track employee satisfaction with internal communications And monitor what employees are saying about the company on social networks so that you can adjust your communications strategy and messages.
Above all, speed is of the essence. Nothing moves news faster than the internal grapevine. So keep information flowing regularly and get news out quickly, feeding the grapevine with the company’s own version of events.
There are no doubt other drivers of employee engagement. I’d be interested in hearing from you with stories about what makes employees want to work their hearts out for their organization.