Employee engagement is core to your transformation

Business transformations are often aimed at improving performance and providing a better customer experience. But before you embark on your grand project, you may wish to give some thought to your employees’ level of engagement.
In terms of their level of engagement, employees fall into three main categories:

  • Engaged: They are enthusiastic and committed to their jobs and make positive contributions to the organization.
  • Actively disengaged: They are unproductive and liable to spread negativity to coworkers.
  • Not engaged: They have no particular allegiance to the company and could leave if an opportunity arises.

Engagement has become a subject in its own right. According to Gallup, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. Why this lack of engagement?

Understanding the relationship to work

For a long time, the relationship between a company and its employees was governed by a basic Taylorian principle: an employee was paid for the task performed. The question of engagement did not arise  an employee was generally considered an interchangeable part of a large machine.
New technologies and the Internet brought a multitude of opportunities that have changed our relationship to work. A company’s success no longer depends on a great slogan or technology, it depends on the company’s talent. The role of each leader is to give talent a reason to join the company and to stay.

What’s the secret?

Many people look for a magic formula for corporate success. Why do some companies show steady growth, rising profits and strong customer satisfaction? How do they do it? The key would appear to be an exceptional employee experience. For a long time, companies focused on customer satisfaction, measuring it and putting costly strategies in place to improve it by cutting costs and creating new products. Meanwhile, other companies chose to do things another way and saw steady profit growth: those organizations had grasped the importance of the work experience and of measuring the engagement of the people who work for them.
Their formula is based on creating a work environment that encourages employees to do their best. Rather than merely being considered as replaceable parts, employees are expected to be the company’s partners.

What if we managed employees’ needs?

One of the factors that has the greatest impact on employee engagement is management style. It is often focused on results and performance and fails to meet such needs as:

  • Understanding the work: Do employees fully understand their mission and its scope?
  • Having the right equipment: Do your employees have the materials, tools and resources they need to do their work?
  • Valuing work: Having your work recognized creates a sense of pride and a drive to excel. Do you value your team’s efforts?
  • Listening: Your employees have expertise to share. Are you listening to what they have to say?
  • Encouragement: Encouragement drives people. Are you taking the time to support and encourage your teams?
  • Skills development: Do you invest in your employees’ career development?

More humane management that demonstrates appreciation of your employees’ value and improves their experience will enhance both their engagement and the success of your transformation projects.

Paula Alvarez
Change management advisor
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