The previous blog from Rob Huntington explored what employee engagement isnât, this blog post is going to focus things that will help to create that culture of engagement. So here are a few key points to consider:
- Decide engagement is important. Be clear about what you mean by engagement, what exactly it means for you and your organisation. This will then help to clarify what is expected of the people in the organization.Â The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) July 2011 defined it as: âEmployers want employees who will do their best work or âgo the extra mileâ. Employees want jobs that are worthwhile and that inspire them. More and more organisations are looking for a win-win solution that meets their needs and those of their employees. What they increasingly say they are looking for is an engaged workforce. So what is employee engagement? It can be seen as a combination of commitment to the organisation and its values and a willingness to help out colleagues (organisational citizenship). It goes beyond job satisfaction and is not simply motivation. Engagement is something the employee has to offer: it cannot be ârequiredâ as part of the employment contract.
- Look to yourself first. Be honest about how engaged you feel at work. What might possibly need to happen for you to feel more engaged and what could you possibly do about this? If you lead others consider how your levels of engagement impact on them.
- Enable people to experience what real engagement will look and feel like. Build a vision of how the workplace will be with a culture of engagement. Create this positive picture so that is something people will want to be part of and want to work towards.
- Allay any unhelpful recalled memories. What will people remember about how engagement has been âimplementedâ in the past or how it has been talked about before? Maybe it hasnât been delivered on in the past. Think about how you could possibly address some of this hindering thinking.
- Determine how you can influence others in the way you engage with them. This will apply wherever you sit in the organisation. Also how couldÂ you possibly help to communicate the reasons that engagement is important not just for the organisation to achieve results but for the employees to feel happier and more fulfilled at work.
- Create a foundation of trust that can be managed by everyone, rather than being manager dependent. This will be about how you and others treat those around you. You can impact on this with your behavior whatever your role.
- Recognise the importance of having defined values and the behaviours to underpin those values that describe integrity, respect and trust. The behaviours will identify the actions necessary to serve both external and internal customers. However, if these are not in place you can still act in a way that helps others around you to feel inclined to be engaged in what the business wants to achieve.
- Have a plan. Rather than just talking about it or wishing for it, build a plan of how you can influence engagement in your part of the organisation. If you manage people allow them to build their own plan of action that will help to build the desired culture. This makes sense as these are the people you want to be engaged.
- Look for champions. Encourage a small group of committed and influential natural leaders (not necessarily leaders because of their job title) to act as champions (this could include you). Their role can be to seek opinion, role model and remove barriers.
- Get everyone involved. Find ways for people to give feedback on how they influence and impact on others, the role they play in helping with engagement and things they might choose to think about doing differently. Work with your colleagues to make things happen. Be aware of their thinking (and your own) and recognise whether it is helpful or hindering. Remember Engagement is not an event; it is a neverâending journey and the more people involved the higher the probability that a bigger difference can be made.
- Measure the results and celebrate success. Look for and measure the impact of engagement in your business. Where possible make the link to the achievement of organisational goals, that is, how has engagement impacted on business results? Recognise and reinforce what you are doing well, and keep doing it. Communicate and celebrate the successes.
So, decide what employee engagement means for you, the benefits and the role you can play in making it happen. Take some time to think about the impact you currently have, the impact you want to have and how you could choose to take this forward.
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