Employees will feel engaged if the company asks them to coalesce around an important goal, such as increasing revenue and profits, right? If the company succeeds, employees will be rewarded and feel valued. That’s seem logical on the face of it.
But management consulting firm DecisionWise says that goal not going to inspire employees to work harder or be more productive. Based on their years of advising companies on employee engagement surveys, 360-degree feedback, leadership, and organization development, the firm has identified what it calls the 5 Magic Keys to employee engagement.
The Drivers of Employee Engagement
According to DecisionWise, the keys to driving or inhibiting engagement are:
- Meaning: Do employees find meaning and purpose in their jobs? Does their work make a difference for others?
- Autonomy: Do employees have freedom, self-governance, and an ability to make choices about their work?
- Growth: Does the job provide development and growth opportunities. Does the work challenge and stretch employees to grow and improve?
- Impact: Do employees feel like they are successful in their work? Do they see that their effort makes a difference and contributes to the success of the organization?
- Connection: Do employees have a personal connection with the people they work with, their boss, and the social community of the workplace?
My take is that C-suite executives view employee engagement in monolithic terms. “Are we getting buy-in from employees in meeting our goals?” Instead, each manager should be asking herself these questions about her communication with direct reports, “Am I engaging my people based on their individual skills and needs? Do I give each individual immediate feedback? Do I encourage their feedback?”
Too often the only time a manager provides feedback or engages an employee in conversation about his job is during the annual performance review. That is not employee engagement.
In its 15 years of tracking employee engagement, the Gallup organization has found that employee engagement has consistently averaged less than 33%. Employee engagement is a hot topic, yet companies don’t walk the talk. They are not doing what it takes to engage employees, even though Gallup’s extensive research shows that engaged employees support the innovation, growth and revenue that their companies need.
Employee Engagement Myth Busters
Maybe the situation hasn’t gotten any better because companies are trying to measure the wrong things. Based on its extensive experience in advising companies on employees engagement, DecisionWise has debunked the following eight myths: