For how many years have you had an employee engagement strategy? How’s that working for you? Tactics without Strategy are DOA, but if a certain group of individuals does not align with that strategy, the company is treading water without a life jacket. Seventy percent of your company’s engagement relies on one group and a well-placed dose of what I call the Awesome Sauce.
Selecting high-talent, high-performers is not the answer to cultivating a thriving and productive culture. There is nothing wrong with exceptional performers. However, taking revenue to the next level requires highly engaged leadership, inclusive of contributors who evidence natural talent. Performance and natural talent are two different things. According to Gallup, the two in combination can increase revenue by 33% per employee.
STEP 1: THE RIGHT LEADERSHIP
Leadership accounts for 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores. Your culture is only as good as the leadership. You may as well throw out any engagement strategy if the managers do not epitomize commensurate corporate values. Even if the organization attracts star talent, in a toxic culture, they will soon be heading for the door.
Gallup analytics reported that selecting high-talent managers can result in 27% higher revenue per employee . . . And selecting naturally talented contributors can add another 6% by creating a culture that attracts star talent.
STEP 2: THE AWESOME SAUCE
Now that you have the right team, it doesn’t work without a culture that facilitates creativity, innovation, autonomy, reduced internal competitiveness, and disruption-busting teamwork. Here is the Awesome Sauce recipe:
Ingredient 1: High Engagement
Any aspect of employee engagement is only as strong as the degree to which an employee finds meaningfulness in their jobs. And, since engagement is correlated with key measures of organizational health, it is important to note that what is meaningful to the team is as diverse as the individuals themselves. A heart-to-heart with each team member will reveal powerful insights. Take a look at my article on the psychology of engagement to understand the psycho-dynamics at play in employee engagement.
Ingredient 2: People in Positions that Align with Their Natural Talents
Think beyond the role. Shift focus from job titles and how well a position description aligns with the resume. Build a strengths-based culture that permeates the hiring process. The key is majoring on natural talents because a good fit from this perspective drives meaningfulness for the employee.
In fact, keep HR at the table as you develop your engagement strategy and do everything necessary to infuse and institutionalize that strategy into the hiring and on-boarding process. It takes time that is well worth it.
Ingredient 3: Master the Growth Factor
Gallup reported that only four in 10 employees agreed that, in the last year, they had opportunities to learn and grow at work. Moving that ratio to 8-in-10, could result in 44% less absenteeism and 16% higher productivity.
Develop personalized career plans. This plan should have relevance to the individual employee. It should not solely focus on internal advancement or opportunities. Try asking them what is their ideal career and focus on preparing them for that within your four walls.
This should include an assessment of current knowledge, skills and abilities with an eye toward equipping the employee to advance, or become, what aligns with their natural talents and interest.
Linda F. Williams is a Certified Executive coach who shows exhausted C-Suite executives how to Increase the bottom line with less stress, less conflict and plenty of time for personal and family life. She is a trained psychotherapist, nationally recognized behaviorist and Management Consultant. She is the founder of Whose Apple Dynamic Coaching & Consulting, and the Award-Winning author of the Best-Seller, Whose Apple is it, Anyway!
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