Strategically, raising employee engagement is not hard to figure out. The hard part is in the implementation, embedding habitually engaging leadership mindsets within your management ranks takes consistent attention, and a lot of support for the effort to habitualize the right behaviors at all levels of management. How well are you doing at embedding those productive leadership behaviors?
Rewarding a year's worth of employee effort and results with a token of your esteem seems like a good idea. And you should do it, as the gesture is always appreciated, if your recognition is targeted, timely and genuine. However, the best gifts are evergreen: You give them all day, every day as a leader: Dignity, Support, and Connection, among others. These cost you nothing more than time, and if you give them constantly, the need for the annual gift in December becomes a lot less critical, and doesn't have to be a dramatic, all encompassing gesture to make up for a year's worth of leaderly inattention!
One of the great success factors in building employee engagement is the gradual build-up of what we at Bovo-Tighe call Unshakable Trust between co-workers. One manifestation of this is the willingness of senior managers to trust front-line workers with the authority to improve the customer experience on the spot. Bain's Rob Markey is quoted supporting this view in a recent HBS report commissioned by Achievers, an HR technology firm. Markey's input was the highlight of the report for us.
A recent survey by Flexjobs found that flexible work schedules is both important to employees, and for the company. Survey respondents report that better control over when they work would raise loyalty to the employer. It a notable that 80% of the respondents to this survey were women, which might have skewed the results, but also worth remarking that "family needs" were not the sole reason these women appreciated flexible work schedules.
A recent white paper by PeopleFluent, a talent management software vendor, put together a nice summary of the state of Human Capital Management as we head into 2014. We like its emphasis on employee engagement as a top driver of value that can make HR an important strategic player in any organization. And given that most organizations still fail to get employee engagement right, your organization can still reap considerable competitive advantage by making it work.
Employee engagement is hard work that requires a lot of day-by-day commitment to embed as a natural part of how an organization does business. Perhaps that is why organizations fail to capitalize on what is clearly a strong contributor to competitive advantage and profitability. We cite a paper written way back in 2007 by Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer that captures the paradox in detail.
Veterans Day is a time to say Thank You to the veterans in your life, and at work. It is appropriate that it is near Thanksgiving, but the celebration can get lost in the growing clamor of the Holiday Shopping Season, so make sure you make the time to contact your Veterans and express your gratitude.
Employees often fall into a bad habit of trying to be too nice at work, says Lisa Bodell. That must change if the organization is going to unlock the full contribution of its people. However, we don't want to lose the concept of "nice." There are nice ways to assertively demand excellent work without shouts and table-poundings. Being passive in the face of assertiveness (letting the other guy win so as not to rock the boat) is what we need to correct to unleash productivity!
Clear direction, two-way communication, senior executive support (not just buy-in) and a well-crafted team of people are all needed to ensure that the team works well together, stays focused and achieves results. It isn't rocket science, but it does take a lot of planning and constant attention from the team leader and his or her boss. What three key potential stumbling blocks need the most attention?
The standard belief about teamwork is that people working together on a common task can achieve much more than each could toiling individually. Why doesn’t that always work out? We can all recall examples of teams that have floundered around dysfunctionally and failed to produce as much as each team member may have done working on their own. What team dynamics drive such disasters? Let's explore the classic impediments to team success, because the path to removing the impediments runs through understanding which issues are holding up your team.