*Guest post by King Hickman, DVM and Founding Partner of GPS Dairy Consulting, LLC.
What exactly is employee engagement? Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put extra effort into their work – because they want to. Engagement isn’t just about doing my job; it’s about doing my job above and beyond. It’s not about making me successful; it’s about making me AND the company successful. It’s not a personal commitment; it’s a mutual commitment.
I recently read an article by Bob Kelleher, author of the book Louder Than Words, 10 Practical Employee Engagement Steps That Drive Results. He used an example of people on a rowboat in which 35% are paddling, 52% are looking at the scenery and 13% are trying to sink the boat. This, he said, represents your employees – only 35% of which are actively engaged. That means that, unless you have a great employee engagement strategy, 65% of your employees are disengaged. If one of those is a manager, their reports are three times more likely to be disengaged. And here, according to Kelleher, is the terrifying part. Although 60% of disengaged employees are currently looking for new jobs, 40% of your disengaged employees don’t plan on going anywhere. They just want to stay and make your life miserable!
What can you do to create more engaged employees in your organization? Here are a few tips from Kelleher:
- Invest in the selection and development of people who manage people … because 75% of people who leave cite their boss as the number ONE reason.
- Build trust in leadership … it’s the number ONE factor linked to employee engagement. Showing employees you care is the number ONE way to build trust
- Build a culture of recognition … as recognition is the #1 thing employees say their manager could do better.
- Build a line of site linking employee goals to organizational goals … employees who can link their goals to the organization’s goals are three times more likely to be engaged.
- Seek input and new ideas from your employees.
- Engage the whole person … what happens after work affects engagement as much as what happens at work. For example, no matter how you feel about your job, you’re more likely to be engaged if:
- Your values line up with your organization’s mission.
- Your boss cares about you as a person.
- There is respect for work/life balance.
So… Who are your paddlers? Who are your passengers? And who’s sinking your ship?