Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To Get Engagement…Be Engaged

When an organization makes a conscious effort to become an “engaged organization” the question always comes down to “how” this can be done. In small organizations it is relatively easy to sit down with your employees and talk about what you want to do and why you want to do it. Then, by demonstrating the behavior you want and expect from your team, you begin to change the culture.

In larger organizations the concept is similar but the time frame is longer because you have so many more people to reach, plus you need to “sell” this concept at the various levels of the organization. And let’s be honest, there will be instances of managers in the organization who will not buy into the concept regardless of what is said or implemented. That means planned turnover; hiring and training of new personnel. None of this makes the job easy, but it is also not impossible.

For larger organizations, a strategy needs to be developed and implemented at various levels of the organization. This strategy is based around a very simple concept:

If we want our customers and employees to be engaged with us, we first need to engage them.

There are a variety of ways to engage your employees in your business. And, once you engage the employees, the customers will follow right along.

Most of the methods of engaging employees are not really new, although the mechanism itself may be new. Ideas like:
  • Suggestion Box
  • Open Door Meetings
  • Skip Level Meetings
  • Kickoff Sessions
  • Company blogs or newsletters
  • Staff Meetings
  • Etc.
Like I said, most of these are not new and can be implemented the old fashion way, or through new social media/internet connections. What turns these from run of the mill employee communication mechanisms into employee engagement tools is simply a matter of how they are used and viewed by the employees. When these tools are viewed as an active and constructive method of interacting with the leadership then they have a purpose and further the process of engaging the employees. But when they are viewed as one-way mechanisms that don't encourage participation and discussion, they will not engage your employees.

How do you change the way these old fashioned communication tools are viewed?

By remembering that communication is actually a two-way connection. In other words, use these tools to actively interact with your employees, encourage them to respond, and act on their comments. This is the part of communication that so many executives miss and it really is the key to engaging your employees. Engage them in a two-way dialog as opposed to just top down communications.

I’ll cover this in more detail next week.

At ECI Learning Systems LLC, we are dedicated to helping companies get the greatest return from their most valuable asset: their employees. We work with you to align 3 key organizational factors:
• Your Company Culture
• The Leadership Styles of your key managers
• The Expectations of your Employees

When these 3 factors are aligned, you create an energy in your company that improves productivity, reduces absenteeism, increases creativity, and positively impacts your bottom line. Contact ECI Learning Systems LLC today to get your free Workplace Evaluation.

Until next time.....

Dave Meyer
ECI Learning Systems, LLC

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