Your latest employee engagement survey results are in and now the hard work begins. If you are like most organizations, you’ve scored well in some areas—providing Meaningful Work, for example—and you’ve scored low in some areas—Growth opportunities and Collaboration perhaps. You sit with the results for awhile and think about what you can do to improve the situation.
For many leaders, the first inclination is to think about what can be done on a corporate-wide basis. But this would be a step in the wrong direction. According to research from The Ken Blanchard Companies, employee engagement is a personal affair and people see their environment differently—even when they are experiencing the same thing.
Here’s an example: All employees want a collaborative work environment to some degree. But the degree of contact that satisfies that need varies widely from person to person. For some employees, meeting on a quarterly basis feels like the right amount of interaction. For others, anything less than daily interaction can feel isolating.
How can you find out the right amount of collaboration your employees need to help feel connected? Ask them. Encourage your managers and supervisors to include a question about collaboration, or growth, or any other problem area that has come up on your survey in their next one-on-one conversation. Adding an employee engagement question or two into the discussion is a great way for managers to discover the diversity of experience among their direct reports and also begin to open the door for strategies that can help to improve each employee’s work environment going forward.
PS: To learn more about the Blanchard approach to improving employee engagement in your organization, check out the white papers Employee Passion: The New Rules of Engagement and From Engagement to Employee Work Passion. They can help to shed some additional light on the individual appraisal process all employees go through and also show you some of the areas to focus on.