From Employee-Engagement to Employee-Commitment in 6 steps
By Ramon Marmolejos – Emzingo
There has been a lot of talk in the last few years around how to engage employees. Companies know it’s important to have employee engagement – Deloitte reports that 87% of organizations cite culture and engagement as one of their top challenges, and 50% call the problem “very important.” Yet according to Gallup only 13% of the world’s workforce is highly engaged. About half of the workforce would not recommend their employer to their peers, says Deloitte. That means that a majority of people are just coming to work for a paycheck – clocking in and out, with no incremental effort, no new ideas, and no real desire to see the company succeed. No Employee Engagement!
But attracting and keeping the best people in your company means more than just “engaging them or employee engagement” – you need to get them committed to your cause you need employee commitment. And no amount of surveys will get you there – it has to be a continuous, holistic part of an entire strategy. And unless you’re Google, you won’t be able to afford all those cool perks and benefits.
Here are 6 tips your company needs to be doing for your employee:
1) Invest upfront in the hiring process.
If you want people who are committed, then make sure you take the time to find and hire the right people. And that does not mean focusing on just qualifications, experience, and the right credentials. It means finding people who are curious learners, play well with others, and want to put their best effort. But more than anything it means they need to be aligned with your values. At Emzingo, we constantly look for people who are just as passionate about our work to transform mindsets and use our values as the benchmark.
2) Put people in the best place to succeed.
Once you have them in the door, make sure you understand and leverage their strengths. By having people focus on what they do best, they are fully committed to the work and become evangelists that can spread the mission of your company. Unfortunately most performance systems are based on “fixing” what’s wrong, and that just results in mediocre managers instead of phenomenal leaders. Josh Bersin believes traditional performance appraisals are doomed and I agree completely.
3) ABC – always be coaching.
If we move away from traditional management systems, we have to scrap traditional management styles as well. We have done away with the term “manager” and have focused on developing a peer coaching model. These peer coaches work with their coachee to co-create a development plan to accomplish personal and professional goals. And it’s a great way for our virtual team to stay connected to one another and help reflect on what we’re trying to accomplish. Coaching is one of the main abilities every leader needs, and it benefits the coach as much as the coachee.
4) Allow people to experiment… and fail.
The problems that organizations face are so complex and emergent in how they evolve, that we all need people who aren’t afraid to try new things. But we must also learn to create an environment where it’s ok to experiment new ideas, without having negative repercussions when things don’t go quite right. By allowing people to apply new ideas, they take ownership, keep a steep learning curve, and assume an entrepreneurial mindset to problem solving. Just make sure you have the right approach to failure.
5) Integrate work and life.
While we spend a lot of our lives working, we need to leave time for people to pursue their passions outside of work. At Emzingo, that means supporting team members on what’s important to them – whether it’s hobbies, travel, family, or even creating a social enterprise of their own. As a virtual team, we focus on the results of the work instead of the time and place where it’s happening, giving our people the freedom to manage their own schedules, construct their lives around their work and integrate it where it makes sense.
6) Align people with purpose.
Once you know the “why”, the “how” and the “what” tend to fall into place. From the moment a new employee joins your team, they have to be clear about the why for the work you do and how it aligns with their personal values and ambitions. But this can’t be a one off activity – employees need to be continuously reminded of the purpose of their day-to-day work in order to drive your mission forward.
If you can do this consistently, your organization will have higher employee productivity, more employee innovation, and new ideas, and higher performing employees. And there is no doubt that this all impacts the bottom line. Yet most importantly, you will have a group of committed people willing to do everything possible to accomplish a shared mission.