Managers often think that the source of employee engagement is providing staff with material rewards and privileges such as more money, bonuses, stock incentives, promotions, titles, etc… While these things are important, their impact tends to be overestimated.
A huge dimension in employee engagement is the quality of relationship that exists between management and staff. Employees feeling they are known, accepted, appreciated, valued and trusted goes a long way toward getting employees on board with a company’s vision and strategy.
Many of the leaders we encounter seem either blind to this point — or worse —simply don’t care. By not listening to and recognizing employees which is a critical part of their job, managers are missing out on the opportunity to create a highly motivated, loyal and engaged team.
According to the Employee Engagement Report 2011 from BlessingWhite, engaged employees plan to stay where they are currently working for what they give; the disengaged stay for what they get.
The same report found that employees worldwide view opportunities to apply their talents, career development and training as top drivers of job satisfaction.
An even more telling find of the study was that when engagement surveys were conducted in companies, without visible follow-up action, engagement could actually be decreased. As the report states, “Organizations should think twice before flipping the switch on measurement without 100% commitment for action planning based on the results.”
All of this points to what we see every day in our consulting work. When managers are willing to go the extra mile with staff, loyalty goes sky high. Managers who acknowledge team members and show they care end up with employees who not only work smarter but harder and happier.
What have you done lately to show appreciation for your staff? I would love to hear your comments.