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So what’s the right strategy to dramatically increase employee engagement in your organization?
Well let’s first talk about the wrong strategy…
Usually, someone from HR has to convince the CEO to spend money on an employee survey. And when the results come back, the data is hoarded by the senior leadership and a committee is formed to brainstorm ways to improve engagement.
The committee implements things like an employee appreciation day, an awards program and perhaps even a tweak to the benefits.
But the problem with this approach is that over seventy percent of the variance in engagement correlates to the manager. In other words, who your boss is. Front line leaders are the regulators of engagement.
So all those top down ideas don’t matter if you’ve still got the same boss, and if your boss hasn’t changed his behaviors.
The right employee engagement strategy instead of being top down, is from the bottom up.
First, if you want to improve something, measure it. So you do need to conduct an employee engagement survey.
Second, make sure each manager gets her own score report. What is the engagement score for her team, and how does it compare with the average score throughout the company.
Finally, third step…have managers shares their results with their own teams. It’s not an HR meeting, nothing fancy or formal. Grab a pizza, get in a conference room and do it over a long lunch.
The manager is the facilitator, not the problem solver.
What areas did we do well in? What should we focus on for improvement?
Because the front line workers are the ones who completed the survey, THEY are the only ones who can tell you what needs to change.
The answers can’t come from above.