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Transforming Employee Engagement

Transforming Employee Engagement

Jan 27, 2015 3:07:52 PM

I look at the clock and realize that it’s 4:25 p.m. on a Friday afternoon and I suspect that somewhere between 40 and 80 percent of the workforce, which is literally millions of people, are beginning to celebrate the end of another week; a week where they traded a piece of themselves to pay the rent or mortgage. I imagine them in pubs as these words hit the page, sipping martinis or sharing a beer over this week’s war stories. Parents are rushing to pick up kids, yet another vivid reminder of why they must continue to work in a less than ideal situation, and spouses and partners are relieved that they will soon be in the sanctuary of home where they can let down their guard, be themselves and find comfort as they share their frustration and speak that which is unspeakable at work. How did this happen, this mass dissatisfaction with work?
– Excerpt from “The Cycle of Transformation” by Deb Siverson (that’s me!)

I’ve read a lot about employee engagement, and have personally experienced the lackluster feeling of being disengaged. And here we are in 2015, and the engagement statistics are not improving all that much.

My book, “The Cycle of Transformation” explores practical behaviors and methods to engage employees at work. But before you step down the path of how to transform performance and bring out the best that people have to offer, it’s important to know what the research is telling us about why people are disengaged.

An interesting statistic is that 89% of employers believe that employees quit because of money. The truth is only 12% leave for financial reasons. The majority, 75% are believed to leave because of their boss. The relationship between manager and team member is a key driver of engagement and this directly impacts bottom line results.

The research from Gallup and Blessing White suggests that another factor impacting engagement is being disconnected from the work itself. The majority of us want to contribute in a way that is meaningful, and 40% of surveyed employees were unaware of the big-picture vision, strategy, and tactics of the organization. However, it is more than awareness that connects us to a mission; it is alignment with our personal values, vision, and purpose.

The other data point I want to showcase, is that 47% of highly engaged team members receive feedback at least once a week. Almost half of engaged employees are receiving regular feedback. And it isn’t just the “here is what you did wrong,” variety of feedback. It is recognition and reinforcement of successful outcomes.

Three things to remember about employee engagement:
• Focus on strong connected relationships between managers and employees
• Align individual values, vision, and purpose with the organization
• Practice the art of effective coaching and feedback

For more information on how to unleash potential in the workplace, order a copy of my book…and check out this article on the 5 Practices that Crush Employee Engagement.

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Deb Siverson

Deb Siverson is the owner and founder of Xponents. She completed her Masters in Organizational Leadership from University of Colorado-Boulder. Deb is the author of the book, "The Cycle of Transformation: igniting organizational change through the leader coach."

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