What’s your engagement resolution?

Now that 2009 is in the history books, it’s time to turn our attention towards the prosperity we all hope the new year will bring.  Traditionally, this is a time that we confidently look forward and make resolutions designed to better our health, relationships and lives in general.  Maybe you’ll give up the smokes, or drop those extra pounds that have been hanging around for entirely too long.   I wish you the best!

When it comes to your workplace, your resolutions will take the same level of diligence if you intend to succeed.  Chances are, you’ve already been forced to trim down and are as lean as you can be.  The new battle will be maintaining the staff you’ve fought hard to preserve, and keeping them engaged (or re-engaged) as the job market improves and their alternatives increase. 

According to BlessingWhite President and CEO, Christopher Rice, the following steps should be part of your resolution for success:

1. Quit or commit. You need to decide if you are ready for another year leading your company. You have been bruised, so make sure you are ready for 2010. If feel like you are working at Dunder Mifflin, then you need to move along because you cannot lead unless you are fully engaged. Your employees deserve more than a leader who is half-in.

2. Communicate the vision. You need to create excitement and trust in your leadership. You should highlight the initiatives of 2010 and create faith that your company is on the right path. Your employees now have a choice about where they work. The large majority want more than ‘just a job’. You had better inspire them to be part of your future.

3. Talk about careers again. The top reason employees leave a company is a perceived lack of career opportunities. Don’t be fooled into believing that your leaner organization can’t satisfy those cravings. You have more priority initiatives than employees, so there are plenty of opportunities for individuals to build skill sets, acquire valuable experience, or try something new! When you scratch the surface of what people mean by ‘career’ you often find it’s all about meaningful work and personal growth. Today’s careers are built not on promotions but on assignments.

4. Forget about performance reviews. You need to do ‘engagement reviews’. You already got rid of the people who needed their performance ‘fixed’. And when using the right definition, engagement actually covers off on performance: Fully engaged employees are at their peak — of maximum contribution and maximum satisfaction. When you focus on engagement, results — and retention — follow. Engagement reviews are vastly different in tone from appraisals. There is a lot more dialogue, and the manager is more likely to end up with a rating than the employee. Engagement reviews explore:

    a) The strategy of the company
    b) The importance of the employee to the success of the team and the company
    c) What’s important to that employee (overall job satisfaction, meaning at work)
    d) The employee’s career aspirations and growth goals
    e) Focus and alignment of the employee’s talents and goals with critical organizational priorities
    f) Your own engagement and commitment (unless, of course, you aren’t sure of your answer to ‘commit or quit’ above!)

Your challenge: Your employees don’t wear labels that declare their engagement level on their foreheads. And you can’t assume that the chronic complainer is totally burnt out and disengaged or that the team member who never makes waves is fully satisfied and aligned. Engagement reviews enable you to exchange information to ensure that the employees you rely on are connected to your organization’s larger purpose, getting what they’re looking for at work and applying their unique expertise to carve out a successful future in 2010.  See full story…

Now’s the time to start making sure that your organization is as fit as it can be for the year(s) to come.  The journey to success isn’t a sprint, it’s more of a triathlon.  With the proper training and execution, almost anyone can get there.  Me, I’m going to start by working up to ten sit-ups!

One response to “What’s your engagement resolution?

  1. Employee engagement is strongly influenced in my experience by regular meetings among employees that help ward off encroaching conflicts and interpersonal stress. Meet weekly with your staff. Discuss “resource” issues, communication issues, unresolved problems between staff. Also, get a good, solid employee workplace wellness newsletter. They really help. But make it one you can edit like http://workexcel.net/eap-newsletter.html

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