What I like most about Rob Markey’s HBR article below is that he really does simplify employee engagement to the bare basics.
Rob’s first point about HR being less important than direct supervisors could be contested, in our business we certainly rely heavily on the support of HR departments and HR professionals to design and deliver the processes that improve employee engagement. He isn’t really wrong however, when you consider that a bad boss is a bad boss, and that in itself can make the most incredible job simply unbearable, not to mention the impact it has on already stressful positions.
Some other observations from the article are that employee engagement scores decline with tenure, they decline as you go down the org chart, and are lowest among sales and service employees.
Our own database from 18 years conducting employee surveys for clients supports many of these observations, however we regularly see a U shape with regards to engagement and service length, the scores start high, decline over the 1-3 and 3-5 year mark, and then either you’ve stuck it out so long that a sense of loyalty kicks in and engagement rises, or perhaps you’ve been promoted up to those high levels of the org chart where everything seems a little more rosy. Either way we see engagement scores regularly increase at the high end of service length tenure.
Here is an overview of Rob Markey’s “4 Secrets to Employee Engagement”
1. Line supervisors, not HR, lead the charge.
2. Supervisors learn how to hold candid dialogues with teams.
3. They also do regular “pulse checks”
4. Teams rally around the customer.
While this article might not provide all of the answers to the rather complex issue of understanding of corporate culture and employee engagement, it does strike some interesting chords.
Use the link below to access the HBR article in its full format.