Employee Engagement Runs Throughout McKinsey’s Top Ten Articles for 2012
We follow McKinsey’s quarterly reports pretty closely, as their articles reflect the concerns of senior executives. Every January the consultancy lists the articles that had the most views by their readership in the past 12 months.
We find it highly instructive that seven of the ten most popular articles in 2012 had employee engagement at their core. (The remaining three dealt with social media and China, which is also not surprising!)
See for yourself using the links below to open the seven human-focused articles. Find out which may relate to issues you face on a daily basis. Note: You will have to register with McKinseyQuarterly.com to access these thought pieces.
We are going to explore just under the surface of the first on the list, and let you continue the journey through the rest of the articles at your own speed:
How leaders kill meaning at work
“Senior executives routinely (and inadvertently -ed.) undermine creativity, productivity, and commitment by damaging the inner work lives of their employees in four avoidable ways.”
What we liked in this article was the concept of the “inner work life,” which we found highly relevant to fostering employee engagement each and every day:
“Even incremental steps forward—small wins—boost what we call “inner work life”: the constant flow of emotions, motivations, and perceptions that constitute a person’s reactions to the events of the work day. Beyond affecting the well-being of employees, inner work life affects the bottom line. People are more creative, productive, committed, and collegial in their jobs when they have positive inner work lives. But it’s not just any sort of progress in work that matters. The first, and fundamental, requirement is that the work be meaningful to the people doing it.”
People who feel that their work connects in a real way to the success of the organization are more engaged and therefore more productive. A leader must make that connection clear to his or her followers.
Click through and explore four ways how leaders confuse their employees and drain that inner work-life away:
- Mediocrity Signals
- Strategic “Attention Deficit Disorder”
- Corporate Keystone Kops
- Misbegotten “Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals”
The other six articles make equally interesting reading, and should stimulate a recommitment to Communication that Counts, Unshakable Trust and the Pursuit of Truth as the best path to fostering long-term high productivity within your organization.
The executive’s guide to better listening
“Strong listening skills can make a critical difference in the performance of senior executives, but few are able to cultivate them. Here’s how.”
Becoming more strategic: Three tips for any executive
“You don’t need a formal strategy role to help shape your organization’s strategic direction. Start by moving beyond frameworks and communicating in a more engaging way.”
Motivating people: Getting beyond money
“The economic slump offers business leaders a chance to more effectively reward talented employees by emphasizing nonfinancial motivators rather than bonuses.”
How strategists lead
“A Harvard Business School professor reflects on what she has learned from senior executives about the unique value that strategic leaders can bring to their companies.”
Managing the strategy journey
“Regular strategic dialogue involving a broad group of senior executives can help companies adapt to the unexpected. Here’s one company’s story, and some principles for everyone.”
The human factor in service design
“Focus on the human side of customer service to make it psychologically savvy, economically sound, and easier to scale.”
If these are the stories that got the most views from senior executives, those executives all still share a desire to shift from being transactional leaders to transformational leaders!
We encourage you to use these articles to help you further your own thinking about employee engagement, transparent communication and transformational leadership within your organization. Some of the advice offered will be germane to your challenges, some not. The point is to stimulate fresh thinking and new perspectives!
Let us know if you find one of these articles useful in achieving your goals of embedding a mindset of full engagement in your team or organization!