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Driving Employee Engagement - Gallup

Employee engagement is the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace.

It measures your employees' perspectives on the crucial elements of your workplace culture.

Are your employees actively engaged with their work or are they simply putting in their time ?

With the right approach, you can learn to improve your employees' connection to their work and your company.

However, based on over 50 years of employee engagement research, Gallup measured that only 15% of employees worldwide and 35% in the U.S. fall in the "engaged" category.

Thus, employee engagement should be a manager's primary role responsibility. Managers are in charge of ensuring that employees know what work needs to be done, supporting and advocating for them when necessary, and explaining how their work connects to organizational success.

To succeed in that responsibility, managers need to be equipped to have ongoing coaching conversations with employees. Unfortunately, most managers don't know how to make frequent conversations meaningful, so their actions are more likely to be interpreted as micromanaging without providing the right tools and direction. One of the most common mistakes companies make is to approach engagement as a sporadic exercise in making their employees feel happy -- usually around the time when a survey is coming up.

Employees need more than a fleeting warm-fuzzy feeling and a good paycheck to invest in their work and achieve more for your company. People want purpose and meaning from their work. They want to be known for what makes them unique. This is what drives employee engagement. And they want relationships, particularly with a manager who can coach them to the next level. This is who drives employee engagement.

One of Gallup's biggest discoveries: the manager or team leader alone accounts for 70% of the variance in team engagement.

The greatest cause of a workplace engagement program's failure is that employee engagement is widely considered "an HR thing". It is not owned by leaders, expected of managers nor understood by front-line employees.

The result is that some organizations believe they have exhausted "engagement" as a performance lever before they truly explore its full potential to change their business. These leaders consistently experience low engagement, or they plateau and eventually decline -- despite repeated attempts to boost scores. Other times, they have high engagement numbers, but their business results tell a different story. At a loss for explanations, leaders may blame the tool, the measurement, the philosophy or environmental factors that they believe make their problems unique.

But, the apparent failure of employee engagement efforts is likely due to the way workplace employee engagement programs are executed. Some common mistakes are:

Too complicated.

Leaders make engagement metrics far too complicated by focusing on predictors that often are outside of managers' control and typically don't relate to meeting employees' core psychological needs at work.

Incorrect engagement metrics.

They use a low-bar "percent favorable" metric that inflates scores and creates blind spots, resulting in the appearance of high engagement without strong business outcomes.

Overuse of surveys.

They overuse pulse surveys to get immediate feedback and rarely take action on the results.

Gallup has identified 12 elements of employee engagement that predict high team performance:

  1. I know what is expected of me at work.

  2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.

  3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.

  4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.

  5. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.

  6. There is someone at work who encourages my development.

  7. At work, my opinions seem to count.

  8. The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.

  9. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.

  10. I have a best friend at work.

  11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.

  12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.

Would you wish to conduct a Q12® Gallup Employee Engagement survey, then click here.

Developing employee engagement must be the main focus of managers within every single stage of the employee life cycle, all of which directly influences the employee experience.

To read the complete article from Gallup, please click here.


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