How to get engaged in Employee Engagement: Maintaining Employee Engagement

Over time man has created many great works.  The Colosseum of Rome, Solomon’s Temple and The Mayan Pyramids to name a few.  Great achievements that have been celebrated over the years as some of man’s finest work.  But, none of these are functional today.  When man is unable, unwilling or simply negligent, even our greatest works will slowly go back to the chaos of nature through entropy.

Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to the organization and it’s goals.  It is highly recognized in modern management as important to the success of an organization.   If you have followed this series of articles and have made changes which have shown improvements to your organization’s employee engagement as a whole, then you will need to be sure to put controls in place to ensure your great work is not forgotten or properly maintained in the months and years to come.

Over this series of articles, How to get Engaged in Employee Engagement, we have defined and discussed how to measure , analyze and improve employee engagement, but unless we are able to maintain our new found emotional commitment, we will lose it.

The control phase of any process improvement initiative is when the project team hands off the new procedure to the process owner.  The team recommends audits, procedures and controls to keep the new process in check and well maintained.  It is the responsibility of the process owner to carry this forward and maintain the new status quo.  With many companies, the ownership of employee engagement is firmly held in HR.  But as we have seen throughout these articles, the responsibility really remains with the entire management team.  So all managers need to take measures to ensure employee engagement stays at the forefront of the organization’s strategies.

One of the key metrics or measure-able for employee engagement is the independent survey.  It is recommended that these be performed no less than annually and probably no more frequently than quarterly.   The Q12 survey by Gallup is a good tool and would produce the scores required to maintain and keep checks on the process.  Keeping a routine measurement of any process helps to ensure the personnel involved are continuing to maintain a high standard and also to keep an eye out for factors that may spark future improvements.

The leadership of the company must continue to communicate and set the vision for the organization.  They must hire and empower managers who share the same vision and are themselves emotionally committed to the organization’s goals.  If leadership is less vocal or communicates less, this may lead to entropy and less employee engagement.

Managers in the organization need to hire great people and make sure they have the tools they need to succeed.  They should work each day to eliminate and automate manual processes to allow their employees the time to focus and the freedom to align themselves to the company’s  goals emotionally.

Managers must continue to communicate the vision from leadership, but it is also just as important to make time to regularly listen to the employee’s feedback and not only listen but hear what is being said by the employee.  If employee’s feel they have a voice they will continue to remain engaged.  If they feel they are not being heard they may lose faith in their own emotional engagement or worse become disengaged.

In simplest terms, stay engaged with your employees and they will stay engaged with you (and the company).  Long ago, before talk of employee engagement, one of my favorite mentors said to me, “You are either with me or against me.”  Not in the sense of an ultimatum, but he truly felt that there should be an unwritten understanding that if he was engaged in my interests then likewise I would be engaged in his and the company’s interests.  He knew, even 25 years ago, how important it was to have my emotional engagement and alignment in the goals of the company.   I have kept that philosophy in my mind ever since it was told to me.  And now that I have shared it with you, you have one more tool in building truly great employee engagement in your organization.

 

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