The Best Engagement Gift – Deidre Koppelman Siegel, February 2015

You’ve made the decision to hire your next addition of talent to your team. It was a long, arduous process and you interviewed endlessly and cautiously to find the best! Everyone is excited that the new addition has been selected and the onboarding process has occurred seamlessly.

Fast forward a few months. Have you done a reality check? Is your new team member engaged? Do they have goals? Are the goals meaningful and understandable to the new player on the team? Are their goals measurable? Maybe your answer is yes. The kick-off went well and the employee feels engaged. Great! How long will that feeling of engagement last? Is it contagious? How often are you measuring the overall engagement of your entire team?

There are many employee engagement surveys that you can choose from to offer to your team to quantify their engagement in many areas of organizational excellence. Information dictates the strategy and this is something I learned a very long time ago. If you don’t have information, you can’t create solutions to enhance and grow your purpose. Information is only good if it is meaningful, measurable and actionable.

The best engagement gift you can give to your team is demonstrating, on an on-going and consistent basis, that employee engagement is important to you. That it is vital to the health of all relationships; between and amongst team mates, relationships with vendors and client relationships. After all, if you as the leader don’t think something is important and you don’t show that it is important, you can’t expect anyone to be as dedicated and involved and, ultimately, engaged in what you have to offer.

Some “yellow flags” to be on the lookout for so that you can get a sense of when your team of talent is not engaged/dis-engaged:

  • High absenteeism
  • Lack of performance
  • Lack of accountability
  • Resistant to change
  • Ambivalence
  • Victim
  • Finger pointer
  • Distractor
  • Arrives late/leaves early
  • Negative attitude

The interesting aspect of employee engagement is that it is totally contagious; infectious in fact. This can be in a positive way (you hope) or in a not so positive way. The psychological ripple effect races through the company faster than the flu and shows up in loss of productivity, reduced sales, lost profits, high turnover, loss of clients, over budget, higher margin of error, and then some.

Engagement is a commitment. It is a commitment that requires ongoing communication and awareness. When evaluating employee engagement, some questions that the leader should want to know and quantify:

  1. Do you feel valued for the work you do?
  2. Do you understand our company vision and mission?
  3. Do you feel good coming to work every day?
  4. Would you recommend our workplace to someone else as a good place to work?
  5. Do you feel that you can contribute to decisions made at the company? (Is your voice heard)
  6. Do you trust the leadership of the company?
  7. Do you feel recognized for your contributions?
  8. Do you have the opportunity to learn?
  9. Do you know what is expected of you?
  10. Do you have the resources you need to achieve your greatest work?

These are just a few questions that when ranked and scaled, will quantify the information that you don’t know and give you the opportunity to make solid changes to improve employee engagement. There are also satisfaction questions that feed into employee engagement, as well. For example, how satisfied is your talent with your company policies? Health benefits? Salary? Performance evaluation system?

The engaged employee, is a passionately engaged employee. Here’s what you see:

  • They go above and beyond
  • Assume leadership of people and process
  • Ownership attitude
  • High level of productivity
  • Team-centric
  • Customer-centric
  • Results driven
  • Excited to come to work
  • Wants to grow and asks to be challenged
  • Value creator
  • Trustworthy
  • Idea generator
  • High contributor

It’s a new year and a new day. Reach out to me directly at: dsiegel@pearcoresolutions.com to learn more about how to measure, evaluate and increase employee engagement in your company.