Forbes (01/14/13) Wakeman, Cy

Many corporate leaders believe employee surveys are sufficient for identifying ways to foster workplace engagement. The surveys’ responses are compiled, after which action plans are created and put into action. However, such surveys wrongly assume that every employee response is equally important, every employee opinion is credible, and engagement by itself can drive results. Five steps can be taken to enhance how organizations approach employee engagement, such as focusing more on what top performers say. These individuals have demonstrated their value and credibility, and more energy should be spent on understanding their views rather than those who are resistant, difficult to please, and ready to give excuses. Employees should also be challenged to take on more responsibility and be held accountable for the results. However, this approach will be most successful if employees are aware that leaders care about their growth and development. When employees issue requests like wanting more flexible hours or a larger office, managers can respond with counter request by asking, “What are you willing to do to get that?” Employees also need to understand that when a decision is made, buy-in is not optional, so employees should be encouraged to use their skills to curb risks and make the decision successful. Finally, companies should stop focusing on eliminating hurdles and instead empower employees to tackle them to experience a sense of accomplishment and grow on a personal or professional level. If an engagement survey still needs to be conducted, it should incorporate a specific level of accountability.

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EDSI Commentary


Greater employee engagement can allow employees to grow on a professional level.