Statistics show that 78% of business leaders rate employee retention and engagement as critical or important to the success of their business. Organizations are looking for new and different ways to understand and improve employee or team member engagement. Effective and meaningful, active employee engagement is truly a competitive differentiator for the high performing business.
Active employee engagement goes far behind an annual survey facilitated by human resources that companies use as a measurement for employee morale. It speaks to the culture an organization fosters, and its willingness to make the right investments within the environment benefitting much-loved employees. In a recent study by Deloitte, three key areas of strategic focus on employee engagement were identified: Lead and Develop, Attract and Engage, Transform and Reinvent. These three priorities go far beyond a typical survey “temperature check” followed by an executive summary turned into an action plan – many companies still call that an engagement program. Its en excellent study with rock solid conclusions and some pretty interesting tools and resources.
In past decades, Gallup and other leadership organizations have led the way around the concept of employee engagement program surveys. Employee engagement has in reality, been a topic companies have considered since the industrial revolution. These concepts were essentially rooted in the late 1800’s by an industrial engineer Frederick Taylor who was looking for ways to improve industrial efficiency. In his book “The Principles of Scientific Management” Taylor theorizes that four principles of scientific management center around the engagement of employees and how their attitude impacted productivity in the steel industry. It was ground breaking work for its time – but that was over 100 years ago!
Developing, enhancing and maintaining a high performing work environment is truly a complex issue to tackle. It blends an organization’s mission and values with its people, culture and performance. Once people join an organization, companies must continuously improve, redesigning and developing the work environment to make it more enjoyable and rewarding, making the employees happier and more productive. In today’s environment, companies need to update the way they look to engage employees. With the influx of younger workers and the proliferation of technology, organizations need to change the way they think about engagement making the workplace environment more flexible, modern, humane and enjoyable. Organizations must build an environment that is fun, meaningful, stimulating and rewarding to attract and retain high performing employees in today’s workforce.
Forward thinking companies truly understand the critical need to go beyond traditional engagement survey programs to create more productive and successful work environments. They design jobs, change the work environment, add benefits, invest in people and develop managers. New employees hired into these organizations are screened for culture and job fit to ensure success. Effective hiring, on-boarding, training and development programs have never been so important.
Josh Bersin Principal and Founder of Bersin by Deloitte was recently quoted in a recent study published by Forbes magazine stating, “Let’s change our thinking and move beyond the concept of engagement. If we really achieve the goal of making organizations “irresistible”, we can make work fun, meaningful and enriching for everyone.”
EVP, Chief Banking Officer
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