Wondering where to find the best “how-to” consultants on employee engagement? Look no further than your own company. Today, right now, inside your own organization are managers who consistently provide the right organizational environment that promotes well-being and generates high levels of engagement. And they do it all while operating under the existing umbrella of your current organizational culture.
In a new article for the November issue of Blanchard’s Ignite newsletter, best-selling business author and consultant Scott Blanchard identifies five ways that organizations can find and learn from these best practice managers.
Step 1: Survey your organization. Use a reputable employee engagement assessment to survey your organization. Make sure that the instrument is valid and reliable and that it will provide you with actionable data. Also, be sure to set the demographics up carefully. You need to protect anonymity to ensure candid responses while still obtaining the smaller unit data that you are looking for. In Blanchard’s experience, a review at the department or function level will usually get the job done.
Step 2: Identify your personal pockets of excellence. Once you get your survey results back, study your organization at the department or functional level. Identify your own personal pockets of excellence. Find out which teams and departments are scoring significantly above the organizational average. Contact leaders in these departments to set up interviews to learn more about what is happening in their specific unit.
Step 3: Focus your conversation where it counts the most. Blanchard research has identified 12 factors that create a passionate work environment and account for most of the variance in employee perceptions. (See Blanchard’s white paper, Employee Work Passion: Connecting the Dots, for more information on this.) These factors are broken down into five organizational factors, five job factors, and two moderating factors.
- Organizational Factors—Growth, Procedural Justice, Distributive Justice, Collaboration, and Performance Expectations
- Job Factors—Meaningful Work, Task Variety, Workload Balance, Autonomy, and Feedback
- Moderating Factors—Connectedness to Colleagues and Connectedness to Leader
Use these factors as a structure for your conversations with unit leaders. Find out how they approach meeting each of these components of a passionate work environment. Discover what they are doing differently from leaders in other departments.
Step 4: Don’t go overboard with prescriptions—Understand the process instead. As you listen and learn about how individual managers and teams address each of the 12 Employee Work Passion factors, listen for the underlying reasons why they engage in those behaviors. Don’t fall into the trap of just mimicking the behavior. The relationship between managers and direct reports is complex. What works for one manager in creating positive feelings of Connectedness and Collaboration may not work for another. Each manager needs to find his or her own individual approach.
Step 5: Share best practices with others and ask your leaders to do the same. Once you’ve identified all of the different ways that people in your organization are approaching employee work passion in the company, start to share some of those practices. Conduct forums, post tips on internal Web sites, and share success stories.
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In any organization, at least 20%, and often as much as 30% of the people coming to work each day report high engagement levels. Do you know who they are in your organization? If not, you’re missing a very practical way to identify, celebrate, and learn from people who intimately understand how to create an engaging environment within your unique culture.
To read more of Blanchard’s thoughts on bringing out the best from your own organization check out Employee Work Passion: Seek out your pockets of excellence. Also be sure to see the information about a free November 16 webinar that Blanchard will be conducting on Cultivating Employee Work Passion: The New Rules of Engagement