What Can Executives Do To Drive Employee Engagement?

What Can Executives Do To Drive Employee Engagement?

In the last three posts on the topic of organizational commitment we looked at evaluating your companies level of commitment, the way two different CEO’s handle commitment and examined the warning signs for lack of employee engagement and commitment.

In this final post of the series we asked a few other authors to give us their take on the topic: WHAT CAN EXECUTIVES DO TO DRIVE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT? Here’s what they had to say.

“Manage your inner control freak.  You can’t — and won’t — inspire employee engagement and commitment unless you loosen the reins and let go of control.  As a leader, you are there to champion the vision and keep people focused on the big picture.  Beyond that, you need to sit back and allow others to drive the process.  Fact is, your organization’s success is a story that everyone must create and own.” Jill J. Morin, author of Better Make It Real: Creating Authenticity in an Increasingly Fake World.

“Managers who are perceived by their employees as strong listeners have been shown to create work environments with higher levels of employee motivation, better relationships among coworkers and increased levels of productivity — all drivers of employee engagement. When managers listen to employees they begin to understand their passions, strengths and ambitions, and the possible ways these may be integrated with work. Listening helps employees feel understood and valued by their manager and demonstrates that managers are open to new ideas and collaboration (additional drivers of engagement). Listening is the core capability to enable managers to connect, engage and create higher levels of employee performance.” Erik Van Slyke, author of Listening To Conflict.

“If executives really want their employees to be committed, they must clearly communicate the mission statement of the company and ensure that everyone in the organization understands how his or her role contributes to that mission. Understanding that provides meaning for the employees in what it is they do. Too often, there is an environment of them versus us rather than a ‘we’re all in this together’ mindset. That is the mindset that leads to engagement and commitment. Kellie Auld, contributing author for Creative On boarding Programs.

Founder and President of Quantum Performance Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in generating total alignment and engagement in organizations.

His work has encompassed a broad range of industries including banking, telecommunications, manufacturing, entertainment, real estate, retail, startups and non-profits.

13 replies
  1. Gretchen Hill
    Gretchen Hill says:

    The single biggest one that comes up for me would have to be meaningfulness or importance of the purpose you are trying to fulfill. You feel that you have an opportunity to accomplish something of real value, something that matters in the larger scheme of things. You feel that you are on a path that is worth your time and energy, giving you a strong sense of purpose or direction. That’s what every c-level employee needs to infuse in their employees…

  2. Patrick Song
    Patrick Song says:

    Employees who feel better about their jobs persist more, exert more effort, and are less likely to leave. Bottom line.

  3. Hazel Bender
    Hazel Bender says:

    Clearly, organizations need to be pro-active to develop and retain the right people. I think there are some real ‘nuggets’ here – thanks!

  4. Elsie Hamilton
    Elsie Hamilton says:

    In my experience, intrinsic rewards seem to create a strong, win/win form of motivation for both an organization and its employees—and one which suits the times. This type of motivation is focused on the shared desire that employees’ work makes an effective contribution to meaningful purposes, so that it is performance-driven. It embodies the kind of self-management and professional development demanded by younger workers. It does not depend on large outlays of money to generate extra effort, so that it is feasible when funds are tight. Furthermore, intrinsic rewards do not require that a boss be present, as exemplified by the growth of the virtual work and telecommute environments…

    • Josh Leibner
      Josh Leibner says:

      It is possible – and we’ve been fortunate enough to partner with quite a number of these – for executives to develop and demonstrate the courage, resolve, humility and fortitude to be honest, sincere and forthright in their communications. It may be rare, but these are the kinds of leaders who people will follow through the proverbial walls.

  5. Jen Turi
    Jen Turi says:

    I agree with most everyone. I think you go back to the basics. You must build trust and to do that you must listen. To listen effectively, you must be humble. So a good place to start is with humility. Thanks for the article!

  6. Marlisa Kopenski
    Marlisa Kopenski says:

    I agree with Jen Turi that trust is so incredibly important, at least in motivating me, personally. My employer trusts me to get my job done without insisting I punch a clock. If that means I leave for two hours to go to my daughter’s recital, so be it. And because of this trust, I work way over 40 hours a week, willingly!

  7. Jill Morin
    Jill Morin says:

    Thank you for mentioning my book Better Make It Real, Josh and Gershon. Do you think people will figure out that I am talking about myself as the recovering control freak? I appreciate Erik Van Slyke’s input too. “To listen well is as powerful of means of influence as to speak well,” is Chinese proverb that seems appropriate.

  8. Malcolm Wagner
    Malcolm Wagner says:

    Offer diversity in roles and responsibilities. I feel that the degree to which employees feel their job tasks require a wide range of personal skills and competencies influences the satisfaction of individual employees. Employees tend to feel more satisfied if given the opportunity to stretch their wings a bit.

  9. Pat Meehan
    Pat Meehan says:

    It is very true that managers who are good listeners and less controlling are likey to develop much more engagement in their employee groups. Trust combined with delegated responsibility and focus has unlimited potential !


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